By Kaylyn Foody
Outside the McGinley Carney Center, another new staple of Bonaventure inclusivity was introduced: a simple, wooden pole with a few, minimalistic white signs.
But, the peace poll resembles more than that. It resembles interfaith unity, something Bonaventure’s campus culture and curriculum avidly supports.
Jordan Golden-Arabaty, a sophomore strategic communications major and board member of MSA, commented on the peace pole.
“I personally think that my school is amazing for putting up the peace pole because it gives everyone a chance to be excepted,” he said. “What makes St. Bonaventure unique is the open heartedness and compassion towards other faiths and practices.”
Jeff Sved, director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, said our peace pole is one of hundreds of thousands in over 180 countries dedicated to cultivating peace.
“We traditionally have a peace pole on campus; however, with the new center we needed a new peace pole,” Sved said. “The idea was to have a place where students could take a moment to center themselves around peace from all cultures.”
A peace pole reads, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” in many languages all over. It has become one of the world’s most prominent and recognized symbols of peace and now it is here on St. Bonaventure’s campus.
“On the International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, we gathered [at the McGinley Carney Center] to center ourselves around peace,” said Sved. “Together we gathered with ten million other peace poles around the world to have a moment of reflection and peace.”
The ceremony was held with students and faculty. All who were there were invited to put a nail into the pole and attach the signs reading “May Peace Prevail on Earth” to the pole itself. This brought the community of those attending together, as not one person was denied the opportunity for peace.
One student, freshman Kyler Mangulis, said “it was exhilarating to not only be there, but to really be involved with the ceremony as well.”
The location of the peace pole makes it a convenient spot to hold moments of peace. Mangulis said it made a nice addition to the campus, especially with its central location within campus.
Weekly moments of peace will be held every Wednesday at 12:20 p.m. in front of the peace pole.
Each week’s gathering will have a different focus and central idea behind generating peace together and from within. This week, the ceremony was held in respect to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Students, faculty, friends and family on campus were all affected by this.
Dr. DePerro, the university’s president, attended the peace pole gathering on Oct. 4 to show his support for those influenced by the Las Vegas tragedy.
“On campus, we tend to be isolated from the tragedies of the outside world in our ‘bubble,’” said Sved. “This new peace pole is a way for us to remember that peace is something that needs to be worked on and taken out into our community.”
Sved’s words are a reminder for us all that even though we may feel safe from the world in our Bona Bubble, there is still tragedy out there. This peace pole will help to recognize these tragedies and work towards a common goal of peace in the world.