The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

SGA helps host “Paint your Peace” to let students voice their thoughts

SGA+helps+host+%E2%80%9CPaint+your+Peace%E2%80%9D+to+let+students+voice+their+thoughts

To close the “Say What: Examining Freedom of Speech at App State” series, the Student Government Association hosted “Paint Your Peace” in partnership with Jonathon Hyde, dean of students. The event was an opportunity for students to visually voice their thoughts in the free expression tunnels. Ignoring the ice and snow that hit campus, students came down to the tunnels, dropped their book bags and painted with SGA representatives.

“I know there was a lot of profanity and some racist symbols on these walls, so I think it’s nice to spread love and positivity,” Hala Rodgerson, freshman environmental science major, said, as she painted the words “love your mother” onto the wall. “I just hope it stays positive.”

A “Positivity Paint Night” was held in response to racist graffiti of a Nazi flag on Sept. 30. This time, students painted on the blank walls to spread positivity from the start. Student body president DeJon Milbourne said “Paint Your Peace” also stood as a connection between SGA and students, offering students their voice, and SGA’s trust to hear them out.

Milbourne, a junior triple major in finance and banking, risk management and accounting, said SGA wanted to partner with the series to help educate students on what they receive many complaints about: freedom of speech and hate speech. Milbourne said most times, students with these complaints are referred to Hyde, who also serves as one of two responsibility officers for App State, so they saw this as a perfect opportunity to work together and to work with students.

Joe Wilkes, senior marketing major and chief of staff for Milbourne, said the series stands out  amongst normal talks and sessions because it allows the students to actively engage in speaking up. Wilkes said SGA has and will continue to support this for all students.

“Being in student government, what that means is not only representing the voices of individuals that might have a concern or a problem, but also representing the voices of the people that agree,” Wilkes said. “(It’s) making sure freedom of speech is protected for all of our students here, not just the ones with the loudest voices.”

Story by Emily Broyles 

Photo by Paola Bula

Featured photo caption: Students spray paint positive messages and symbols in the free expression tunnels. 

Donate to The Appalachian
$1065
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

About the Contributor
Emily Broyles, Reporter
Emily Broyles (she/her) is a senior journalism major, Spanish minor, from Camden, NC. This is her fourth year with The Appalachian.
Donate to The Appalachian
$1065
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal