Desi LaPoole

Editor in Chief

 The College of Wooster celebrated the installation of its own peace pole with a dedication ceremony held on Friday, Sep. 27 at Babcock Hall.

According to Audrey VanderVelde ’20, co-president of Amnesty International, “A peace pole is a physical pole — ours has the eight most spoken languages at the College on it, including English and a plaque in braille explaining what it is — and a physical representation of The College of Wooster community and its continued push towards love, peace and harmony.” 

The eight languages written on the pole are English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean and Amharic, which all share the same message of peace: “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

At the dedication, which was hosted by Amnesty International and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI), each language written on the peace pole was represented by a native speaker from the campus. The event also brought together various organizations and community members for an evening to celebrate the newly installed peace pole.

“There was a great turn out. Speakers offered readings and poems, some in their own languages and some on behalf of organizations. We had multiple clubs represented in support of the pole as well as sports teams, professors, staff and alumni,” said VanderVelde.

Organizations represented at the dedication ceremony were the Student Government Association, Women of Images, Political Science Club, College Democrats, CDI and African Students Union.

“The most impactful moment for me was when people were going up and reading out each message of peace in their native language,” said Vice President of Amnesty International Emily Davis ’20. “Also, it was really impactful to actually see the pole in the ground because it was such a long time in the making.”

The process of installing the College’s own peace pole started during the spring semester of the 2018-19 academic year. Emily Farmer ’20, former co-president of Amnesty International and current public relations chair, along with other members of the organization had approached the CDI about the subject.

“We were prompted last semester to start the process of procuring a peace pole because of the events that had been occurring in the U.S. and around the globe that were impacting Wooster students and their global communities. We thought that this would be a good time to bring a reminder of peace to the campus,” said Farmer.

On bringing a peace pole to campus, Farmer said, “The process itself was not difficult at all once we reached out to CDI, who generously offered to purchase the pole. We collaborated with them to decide on the languages for the pole, which ended up being the top languages spoken by students on campus because we wanted to represent the College population as it stood at the time.”

The peace pole is located outside of Babcock Hall, which is a very significant location for the organizers.

“I hope that with this addition of the peace pole just outside CDI students can be reminded of the community of diversity and acceptance that we strive for at Wooster,” said Farmer. “I hope this message can also be a part of the wider Wooster community, as well as send a message to future students to carry on that tradition of peace and acceptance.”