The origins of the unity posters in college houses

Photo courtesy of Katherine Lentz.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Lentz.

By Katherine Lentz, A&E Editor

Democrat or Republican, Independent or Libertarian, we’ve all been witness to increasing tensions not only in the Gettysburg community but also in the country as a whole. Combating the divisiveness that has taken over our nation without taking a political stance has proven difficult for many people.

However, Assistant Director of Residential & First-Year Programs, Julia Collett, collaborated with Assistant Residential Life Coordinator of College Houses, Jon Leonard in order to take a stand by unleashing the creative capacity of the student body. Leonard and Collett call them Unity Posters. They can be seen in the windows of College Houses.

The goal of these posters, according to Leonard and Collett, is to “do something about the negativity and acts of hate that are happening on campus,” they said.

Obviously cognizant of the high tensions, especially within the community, Leonard and Collett asked the College House leaders if they were interested in creating posters promoting both positivity and unity to hang in the windows of their houses.

A majority of the College Houses were interested in the idea. According to Collett, twelve out of the nineteen College Houses attended the two poster making sessions, which were held two weeks ago. Residents of the attending College Houses came together to create vibrant posters with both illustrations and messages of peace, justice, welcome, and love.

“Our hope is to spread a positive message using our physical space on campus,” said Collett.

Divisiveness within our community and across our nation won’t be solved with a handful of posters in the windows of a few houses in a small Pennsylvania college — but it’s a step in the right direction.

Any positive change is better than a negative one, and the posters definitely promote a positive change from some of the negativity espoused in recent campus events. The posters serve as small reminders — on the way to class, on the way home or on the way into town — that we are in fact a community and that we are a better community when we work together in a positive, thoughtful and caring way.

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Author: Katherine Lentz

Katherine Lentz '20 is as a Psychology and Public Policy double major. She acts as the Editor of the Arts and Entertainment section of The Gettysburgian, as well as the Vice President of Gettysburg College's new club Phoenix Rising.

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