Suicide Awareness Walk!

This Saturday, April 27, Oshkosh’s 3rd Annual Chester Marcol 5K Walk for Suicide Awareness will take place at the Oshkosh North HS gym. Registration begins at 7:30 am and the walk will begin at 9:00 am. Students can register for just $10, and the proceeds benefit the Community for Hope of Greater Oshkosh.

Two years ago I attended the very first Walk for Suicide. It was a great experience, and I was amazed to discover how many peoples’ lives are affected by suicide. Even with the growing knowledge and availability of mental health services in our community, far too many youth and adults suffer in silence.

To be brief, I have compiled a list of my top 10 reasons to attend the walk this Saturday:

10. It will be way more fun than anything else going on at 9 am on Saturday.

9.  You’ll get some fresh air and exercise.

8.  Lots of free stuff!

7.  Lots of valuable information—also given out for free!

6.  I’ll be there giving windmill high fives to everyone who wants one (trust me, you want one).

5.  You can meet Packer Hall of Fame kicker Chester Marcol. He gives high fives too.

4.  There will be raffles for some amazing prizes, including CUSA tickets and merchandise autographed by Donald Driver and Clay Matthews!

3.  You can show your support to those affected by suicide in our community.

2.  You can receive support if your life has been affected by suicide.

1.  You’ll be supporting a very good cause.

Check out the website for more details on this awesome event:

http://oshkoshsuicideawareness.com/

 

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What did you say?

That’s so… unnecessary

By: Nat Unger, U Matter Social Media/PR Intern

How many times have you walked around campus and heard someone say “Gay” in a way that is disrespectful and does not encompass what the words really mean?

“That’s so gay.”

Let’s spend some time interpreting what this phrase could mean.  First, for some definitions of the word gay.  Google brought back:

Adjective-(of a person, esp. a man) Homosexual.

Noun-A homosexual, esp. a man.thats-so-gay-racist-jokes

Synonyms-merry – cheerful – jolly – joyful – blithe – mirthful

So when someone says, “That’s so gay,” it could mean, “That’s so homosexual” or “That’s so jolly!”  But for some reason, these are not necessarily what people are trying to say when they say that phrase.  Besides, a cruddy homework assignment probably isn’t jolly, and it probably doesn’t identify as a male who is attracted to males.

When people say, “That’s so gay,” they are saying that something is stupid.  In this way, the phrase tears apart someone’s identity because suddenly gay becomes a synonym for stupid.  That’s not fair to someone who is gay, now is it?

Unless you’re using gay as a term for someone’s identity, or perhaps saying that something is cheerful or joyful, you probably shouldn’t be saying that something is gay.  So instead of throwing around someone’s identity, it would be better if you use words that actually fit the situation.

Make a Difference: Language Matters!

Welcome to Language Matters, the facet of UMatter that strives to end the use of language that is prejudice, incensitive or both! This could include the use of words in everyday situations that pertain to someone’s sexual orientation, race or  past experiences just to name a few.

There are many ways to eliminate this type language not only at UWO but on other campuses as well. In spreading this message, we hope to shed some light on the impact of the words people choose. Here are just a few steps that you can take to become an advocate for this cause:

Don’t ignore it. If you hear someone say something off-color that could be offensive, call them out in a respectful manner and explain to them the impact of their words.

Be prepared for possible tension or conflict. This is a sensitive topic that many people may not be aware of. Be aware that the situation could get uncomfortable but stand your ground!

Be non-judgmental, but know the bottom line. There are a lot of good people who say things without thinking about them first. Don’t hold it against them, just know when to step in and explain to them why they should not have said what they said!

Be aware of your own hesitancy to intervene. We have all done this, choosing not to intervene in certain situations. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just use it as a learning experience for the next time you could make a difference.

Be a role model. Take charge and live the message. When people see others stand up against hurtful language, they will be more inclined to do so also. Be the leader!

These are all great ways to begin making yourself and others aware of the hurtful things that are said every single day! Every time you approach someone about this issue you can make a difference for victims of such words.