Michael Maraghi, Staff Writer
On the afternoon of Tuesday, Apr. 11, outside of Lavery Library, Fisher students unveiled the Rocks for Unity display to promote positive messages of diversity on the St. John Fisher campus.
The unveiling is just one of the countless projects initiated by Alexa Zappia, Vice President of Zepa and founder of Rocks of Unity. To date, she has brought the project to more than 300 students in the Buffalo and Rochester area.
“I’ve just seen that there’s a lot of intolerance in the world based on people’s difference, whether that’s race, sexual orientation, religion, what have you, and I just wanted to do my part to affirm diversity as a strength through kindness and acceptance and unity” said Zappia. “As someone posted on twitter earlier, this is 700 rock displays with 700 stories and you can see the story behind each person through the design on the rocks.”
The walkway outside of Lavery Library boasts the highest foot traffic on the campus, and was thus the ideal location. It is also a common spot for campus tours, which ultimately make the location a perfect spot for incoming freshmen and new potential students.
Dr. Richard DeJesus-Rueff, Vice President of Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives, was present to comment on the project.
“I think that this offers the potential particularly since they want to incorporate into new student orientation that this would help support and increase people’s awareness of what the Fisher Creed stands for. Many of the principles of unity and the ideas of acceptance and kindness towards others are embodied in the Creed so this is a nice compliment and a nice addition to that as part of a tradition.”
The rocks were designed by Fisher students and placed on concrete panels outside of the library with a center plaque that reinforces the Fisher Creed. Rocks for Unity and other activities alike aim to promote discussion of diversity and differences on campus in hopes of providing recognition of the strength that diversity provides.
Emma Erdeli, senior and secretary for Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), was in attendance.
“I think that this project help make the campus be more connected and see that there is diversity and we can come together as one and stand for something together.”
Students can show support for the initiative on social media through the hashtag #RocksofUnity.