Students passing Russell M. Cooper Hall on Wednesday afternoon were met by a surprise. Approximately eight students, lying on the grass flanked by signs of war-related obituaries, were protesting wars on several fronts, including the war in Iraq, Afghanistan and the wars on drugs and AIDS.
The Alliance of Concerned Students was responsible for the peaceful demonstration, which took place yesterday afternoon between 12:30 and 3.
Robin Frincado, co-chairman of the Alliance of Concerned Students, said she thinks USF students aren’t aware of wars around the world.
“Each of the deaths represents the death of a person who died of some form of war, be it (the) war against drugs, (the) war against races or the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan,” Frincado said. “This is just to symbolize that this is actually happening, and it’s real, it’s not far off.”
The Die-in for Peace has taken place for the past two years.
“Any type of student organization has to go through a review process,” said Multicultural Activities Coordinator Nicole Glenn.
The Alliance secured the location after requesting it from Student Affairs.
Later, the organization had to go through the event review process that secures the University Police and alerts the staff of the assembly.
Throughout the demonstration, the reactions of students passing by were varied. Some students agreed with the protest while others showed their distaste.
Alliance member Lori Volce experienced both.
“A lot of people came up and thanked us for doing this, but then there’s a lot of people who are coming up and using words you probably can’t print,” Volce said.
Curious, freshman Brian Reekstin stopped to find out what was taking place.
“I supported the war and the president. I voted for him,” Reekstin said. “I also understand that this is their right and they should be able to use it.”
Passing by, freshman Christine Woodard spoke with some of the members as they distributed pamphlets. Woodard was impressed with the demonstration. She said she believes students’ show too much apathy when it comes to foreign affairs.
“I am very proud that students are finally speaking out about how they feel about the war(s),” Woodard said. “Most of the students walking by don’t even seem to care.”
Senior Ryan Burcel watched the demonstration from a bench near the lawn.
“People get to see what’s actually going on. It’s not just something in the back of the memory,” Burcel said. “We should all be flying flags right now because we’ve got our guys over there right now for no reason.”
Junior Casie Langston had mixed views on the demonstration.
“I believe in a person’s right to protest,” Langston said. “What I do not believe in is using the names of soldiers who died doing what they believed is honorable for their country. There is no draft. These men and women fought freely and died doing what they believed was right for their country. By protesting, these people are taking away the honor these people had when fighting.”