By Alyssa Roat | Staff Writer
By 7:30 p.m., Rediger Chapel was filled with Taylor students ready for the Stand Up for your Sibling event. Members of Collaborative Programming (CoPro) passed out surveys, green for men and tan for women.
Rather than an academic event, Stand Up was a night for solidarity and sharing.
"Stand Up is an active event where you have a safe space to tell your story and hear other Taylor students tell their story," junior and CoPro cabinet member Rachel Chambers explained.
Students filled out the surveys, which consisted of 41 questions about their past and present. Questions ranged from, "Are you embarrassed about your financial status?" to "Have you felt like God could not love/forgive you?"
Once students had filled out the surveys, they were redistributed randomly. Six speakers on stage of alternating genders read off each question, prompting students to stand. Students stood if the answer on the sheet was a yes, thereby standing up for another person. The auditorium was broadcast on the screen so that students could see each other stand.
"This event is an opportunity for all Taylor students to come together to acknowledge that pain has been a part of each and every one of our stories, but that no one is alone in their experiences," said Spiritual Development Coordinator Julia Hurlow, who is the faculty support for the CoPro committee. "There is a redemptive power that comes from knowing you are not alone in your experiences with pain."
After the 41 questions were over, everyone stood for six Gospel truths about God's love in spite of what students circled.
"It's an opportunity to hold someone else's story in your hands and feel for them, pray for them," said Chambers. "And then you feel like maybe you should be thinking those same things about yourself."
"It's an opportunity to say 'I see you, I value you, and you're not alone,'" MAHE Discipleship Graduate Assistant Christina Brandsma said. "'The hope of the Gospel transcends your story.'"
At the end of the night, each student was handed a personalized card with a word of encouragement. Each note was different.
CoPro also encouraged students to attend future events such as DeStress Week (Nov. 12-15), a talk about "Unpacking Rape Culture" and a screening of "Miss Representation."
"If you missed the event, you still have a place in the conversation," Chambers said. "There are still people who care and are ready to hear, support and love."
Brandsma reminded students that they can always talk to the counseling center or members of student development.