Unity Day brings students, faculty together to celebrate differences

It’s called Unity Day, and it’s set aside by Lycoming College students to celebrate the differences among students, clubs, and employees that make up the school, but beyond that, those that exist in all of society.

Some 50 students and faculty members met along the edge of the campus on Market Street at mid-afternoon Friday, formed a small parade and marched to the school quad.

Dr. Betty McClain, professor of Sociology, reminded those gathered that tolerance is not enough.

“We need to celebrate our differences, not accept hatred,” she said.

Taylor Kendra, a junior majoring in archaeology, creative writing and primary education, told everyone, “With unity we can rock this messy world. Remember why we are here again.”

It marked the third year for Unity Day, which began following an incident on campus in 2010 when a racial message was placed under the door of an African-American Lycoming College student, according to Vice President for Student Life Dan Miller.

“It’s a grassroots effort,” he said of Unity Day.

It’s a way, he added, to celebrate the uniqueness of everyone at the college.

Among the different organizations represented at the event were the college’s Black Student Union, Multi-Cultural Awareness Group and the Gender and Sexual Awareness Group.

McClain said while many may not later remember the particular crisp, cold November day when they attended Friday’s event, they hopefully will recall the unity of Lycoming College.

College days, after all, consist of “pushing and pulling of academics against the heave and pull of student activities.”

“We will all be changed for the most part for the better,” she said.

The college, she said, is not comprised merely of teams, clubs, departments and individuals.

“We are all those and more. Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts,” she said.

Kendra said too often she turns on the news and becomes “nauseous.”

“We let prejudice happen,” she added.