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Juniata College to Display AIDS Quilt April 9-16

(Posted April 1, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The AIDS Quilt, a massive commemorative project in which men, women and children who have died of AIDS are remembered in fabric works of art, will be on display at Juniata College Wednesday, April 9 through Wednesday, April 16 in the entrance atrium of the William J. von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The display and other events listed below are free and open to the public.

"The AIDS quilt commemorates the courage, wisdom and strength of those who live and lived with a virus that often has been silenced by ignorance and shame," says Grace Fala, associate professor of communication at Juniata and faculty sponsor of AWOL (All Ways of Loving), the Juniata club for straight and gay students concerned with inclusion and tolerance. "The quilt reminds us to remember ourselves as a community."

Three panels from the AIDS quilt, each measuring 12 feet by 12 feet, will hang from the second-floor railing of the atrium of the von Liebig center.

On Wednesday, April 9, there will be an AIDS information presentation, hosted by The AIDS Intervention Project, an Altoona-based agency. In addition, Jim Taylor, a local speaker, will make a presentation and answer any questions posed by visitors.

On Tuesday, April 15, at 8:15 p.m. on 402 Good Hall, members of AWOL, a Juniata club with 35 active members, will present "Straight Talk," where a panel of gay Juniata students talk about experiences such as coming out to family and friends. The students also welcome questions from those in attendance.

The AIDS quilt display is sponsored by AWOL, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a Juniata student organization. The group was founded in 1993.

"The programs we have organized will heighten awareness of AIDS, which is a problem across Pennsylvania and the United States," says Devin Hunt, a junior from Saylorsburg, Pa. studying physics and mathematics and co-president of AWOL.

"AWOL really functions as a safety zone and support group for students who are straight and for students who are gay," says Liz Allard, a senior from Shelburn, Mass. studying health science communication and co-president of AWOL. "It's not often at a small school in a rural area that students get a chance to talk about these issues and see the AIDS quilt."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.