Raising Awareness

Bryan Wroten

PRIDE!Kent hosts mock funeral to inform campus about AIDS

President of PRIDE!Kent Christopher Taylor and historian and treasurer Ally Oulton mourn over Katie Troha, freshman conflict management major, during a mock funeral in Risman Plaza yesterday. The mock funeral was held to raise awareness of AIDS. PHOTO B

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

They died to bring awareness.

Members of PRIDE!Kent held a mock funeral yesterday in Risman Plaza for AIDS victims.

PRIDE!Kent President Christopher Taylor, Ally Oulton, PRIDE!Kent historian and treasurer, and Katie Troha, freshman conflict management major, silently posed in black clothing and veils with red ribbons to bring AIDS awareness to the campus.

“It’s important we get people’s attention,” Oulton said. “Our purpose is awareness. Hopefully, we’ll bring this to light.”

The three posed on a black cloth, one lying down while the other two pretended to be in mourning. Before posing, they chalked information about the PRIDE!Kent meeting last night and information about the anonymous HIV testing April 18.

People noticed.

Sean McPhillips, junior integrated life science major, stopped to ask them what they were doing. He didn’t receive an answer. He had to look at the chalk.

“It’s bringing attention to AIDS, but it’s not the solution,” he said.

McPhillips said he thought a fundraiser would have been a better idea to raise money for research. He also said he didn’t think AIDS was as big a problem in this country as it is in other countries, such as African nations. He said a bigger problem in America is pregnancy.

“There are more people getting abortions per year than there are people dying from AIDS,” he said.

Freshman fashion major Kristen Wigle said she thought PRIDE!Kent’s presentation was effective. She said it had good contrasting color and the veils and clothing made them androgynous, showing it can affect everyone. She said while America doesn’t have as much of a problem with AIDS as other countries, it should still be a concern. With all the information available about AIDS, she said people should learn about it.

“You don’t want it to get as big as other places,” she said. “It shouldn’t be as big of a problem.”

College-aged students need to see it as an issue, said Rebekka Miller, senior fine arts major. The feeling of invincibility can easily lead to problems, she said.

“Nobody can see themselves dying at 17 or 18,” she said. “You absolutely can, after one night, one time. People don’t grasp the severity of their situations until after.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected].