Simpson Community Marches to “End the Isms”

By Ben Rodgers, ‘15

Some held signs. Some wore hoodies. Some chanted, “End the isms.”

But the message was the same: Simpson College students, faculty and staff want to end acts of prejudice, wherever they exist.

An estimated 200 people took advantage of a beautiful spring afternoon March 30 to participate in the ninth annual, “Living the Dream: March to End the Isms.”

“The march is a way for Simpson College to gather as a community and say we want to make a difference,” said Walter Lain, assistant dean for multicultural and international affairs, who helped organize the original march. “The march is a good way for people to come out and listen to the issues.  Even though we say we listen to people we don’t always exercise the opportunity to.”

Lain said that there are prejudicial acts that need to be recognized and acknowledged. The march demonstrates that the Simpson community wants change, he said.

The march began with speeches from Joe Sorenson, the student body president, and Jim Thorius, vice president and dean for student development. Students then marched from the quad to the Indianola town square.

During the march, students held up homemade signs with quotes like, “Fight for equality” and “Share the Love.”

After the march, the event continued on campus with speeches, poem, and musical performances. All of these supported the theme of the march, ending prejudice and inequality.  Student groups also had stands set up along the quad to show their support.

“There is hatred in the world and the only way to stop it is by coming together like this and celebrating diversity,” said senior Dana Lain.

Junior Antonio Reyes added, “This march is a great way to celebrate diversity.”

Several students said the march unifies the campus.

“I like the idea that students can get together and stand behind a single idea,” said senior Kevin Rice. “That’s what the Simpson community is about — not only being together, but doing something.”

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