Students share stories on Sibley Day

Aeriel Niccum | Lindenlink Contributor

            For the past five years, Sibley Day has been a catalyst of opportunity for Lindenwood students to enrich their learning experience outside the classroom yet inside their interests. Themed each year with topics of particular interest to students, this Sibley Day offered the theme “You Got Served, Now Go Serve Others” to students, faculty and staff with more than 35 activities to choose from. Among those 35 activities was Still Standing, a sexual violence survivor storyboard display.

            Eight anonymous survivor boards, all by LU students, were displayed from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the J. Scheidegger Center. Each made accessible to the public eye was a personal story of sexual violence and the journey from trial, pain and suffering to hope, strength and courage that comes with transforming from a victim to a survivor. The board display drew a large viewing crowd of students and faculty as well as St. Charles community Sibley Day participants.

            Junior Joshua Dunn shared his reaction. “It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster. It was heartbreaking to read the stories and see what the victims have gone through but it was also inspiring at the same time to see how far they’ve come and that they’re being courageous enough to not stay hidden, as well as reaching out to help others.”

            The stories, each similar in context yet distinctively unique and powerful, brought tears to the eyes of several. One viewer said, “It’s just amazing to think that these are all from here [Lindenwood]. I could know one of them.”

In all reality, each viewer could have known several of the participants. According to the statistics page provided at the display, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced sexual violence. The statistics were taken from the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), an organization solely devoted to awareness concerning sexual violence and aiding those who are victims in the transformation to becoming a survivor.

            Still Standing did not end with Sibley Day. LUTV News completed a news package on the display which aired during the 3:30 p.m. news and will also be available on LUTV’s YouTube channel. The boards will be displayed for a time in the Memorial Arts Building and will be nominated for Lindenwood’s Student Research Symposium and Exposition competition in March.