Feel free. Follow your dreams. Just breathe. The messages—scrawled and neatly printed; in marker, pen, and pencil; on brightly colored and plain manila tags—convey expressions of hope, harmony, solidarity, sorrow, and, above all, peace. The Peace Intentions Wall, set off to one side of the lobby in Reynolds, is a place where students, faculty, staff, and visitors can share their thoughts and prayers with the community, anonymously and free of judgment.
For all refugees displaced and suffering. We are all equal. The idea for the wall came about when a student expressed a desire to create a physical memorial following the November 2015 Paris attacks, explains Jamie Kendrioski, director of international services and multicultural education. Kendrioski admired the idea but was a bit concerned about calling out any particular tragedy, lest it create the impression that “we as an institution care about some tragedies and not others.” Instead, he suggested creating a display that is more broadly inclusive and that focuses on peace around the world.
Just keep swimming. Love yourself. The peace wall was installed in the spring of 2016. Lisa Thomas, P’17, director of the office of faith and service, says the wall gives members of the community an opportunity to share feelings about events in the world or in their own lives, large or small. Her office also hosts a weekly Peace Circle in Glavin Chapel, which similarly allows attendees to “stand in solidarity together as a community.”
No place for hate. Love more—judge less. Thomas says that in a culture where Facebook and Instagram are pervasive, she had wondered whether students would still feel the need to write and post on the wall. “But they do,” she says. “The fact that it is so filled shows that it’s something people are using, and that it’s accomplishing its purpose.”—Jane Dornbusch