Civility Week is now Civility Month in order to allow greater scheduling flexibility.
“In previous years, so many great events would be closely scheduled in order to fit into a week’s schedule,” said Rana Elgazzar, SGA Secretary of State and chair of the Civility Celebrations. “That made it challenging for organizations to collaborate and for students to attend multiple events if they wished. Extending the series to a month allows more logistical flexibility and provides more opportunities for the campus community to participate in events.”
Elgazzar also said that the committee responsible for the Civility Celebrations felt that the spirit of the event shouldn’t be limited to one week alone.
Continuing the superhero theme from homecoming last semester, Civility Month’s official theme is “Be the Hero,” which encourages students to be heroes in their day-to-day lives.
“[The theme] intends to empower each member of the ETSU community to cultivate an inclusive environment that honors the diversity afforded our institution and surroundings through differences in race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, perspectives, abilities/disabilities and more,” said Elgazzar in her official statement on the SGA website.
Some of the events planned include a talent show, an interfaith banquet and multiple keynote speakers.
In addition, several privilege walks, movies and art exhibits will be held, among other activities for attendees.
Of the events, the one Elgazzar said she was most looking forward to was keynote speaker Terrell Strayhorn – as well as a surprise guest speaker to be announced later in the month. Strayhorn is a professor and graduate faculty member at The Ohio State University and boasts a popular TED talk on his many accomplishments.
Events from prior Civility Weeks included the campus clean-up, rededicating the Borchuck Plaza fountain, a storytelling event, a religious panel, a 5k run, blood drive and drag show.
When asked about some of the greatest challenges she’s faced while organizing Civility Month, Elgazzar said she found that many of the groups she was working with shared comparable goals, but worked independently to achieve them. She has spent time working with the groups to consolidate their efforts in the name of diversity and civility.