Peace by Piece: A campus ministry craft

Kaitlyn Hughes | Members of the Men's Spirituality Group made peace poles Thursday night in honor of International Day of Peace. Each member said they try to promote peace in their daily lives.

Kaitlyn Hughes | Staff Writer

The International Day of Peace is a harmonious event celebrated worldwide on Sept. 21 to encourage non-violent acts. According to the International Day of Peace website, the day was established in 1981 by the United Nations.

Campus minister Linda Donovan said that the holiday can be interpreted differently across the globe.

“A lot of universities, churches and organizations do something on this day whether they do marches, activities or prayers,” Donovan said. “[There are] numerous ways you can celebrate the day.”

On Thursday, students made peace poles to promote the main message of the holiday in the Union Nitespot. Peace poles represent the saying, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

The event provided colorful papers, markers, stickers representing peace, peace pledges and a book titled, “365 Ways to Find Peace.

“It’s almost like the Washington Monument,” Donovan said. “If you see peace poles that’s what they look like.”

This event is not the first time the university has celebrated the International Day of Peace. Donovan said Duquesne has been participating in peace movements on this day for more than 20 years in numerous ways including chalk drawings, informational booths, a moment of silence for peace and social media events.

The Spiritan Campus Ministry ran a campaign on their Instagram for the 17 days leading up to Sept. 21, each day highlighting a different sustainable development goal.

Some of these goals included “Zero Hunger,” “Quality Education,” “Reduced Inequalities” and “Climate Action.” The campaign promoted the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace, which was “Actions for peace, ambitions for the Global Goals.”

According to Peace Child International some other ways students can celebrate is by throwing a peace party, like a barbeque, or by giving to a local charity. Spreading awareness about the holiday is advised as well.

“I think it promotes awareness and promotes the idea of peace and has people focus on peace in their own lives,” Donovan said. “It’s not only world peace we focus on. It’s peace in your heart and in your life because peace starts with us. It’s kind of an individual thing that we each have to do.”

Student Aiden Buettner agreed with Donovan that promoting these types of events inspire more people to act out of the habit of peace.

“It brings the idea to mind,” Buettner said. “I don’t think I have thought about world peace since I got here.”

Buettner hopes to act toward peace in the future.

“I’m not in any big position, but I would like to see what I could do,” Buettner said.

Members of the Men’s Spirituality Group on campus showed up on Thursday evening to help set up, have a fun time, encourage peace and create and decorate peace poles of their own.

One member, Vincent Tranghese, had never heard of the International Day of Peace until the event.

“It’s just a fun way to relax, and I feel like we are all promoting peace, obviously. Not only with what we are making, but with the conversations we are having as well,” Tranghese said.

He incorporates peace into his own life.

“I just try my best to get along with everyone. If someone disagrees with me, I just try my hardest to let it go.” Tranghese said. “Not get into an argument with anyone.”

Founder of the Men’s Spirituality Group on campus, Mitchell Brown, said what peace meant to him.

“Peace to me could be two things, it could be internal or external,” Brown said. “Externally, it would have to be people coexisting in happiness and internally it’s being happy with your current state and choosing to be.”

Brown said we all must make contributions to create world peace.

“I think it’s all individual. It’s a choice, in my opinion. It coexists with happiness and it’s a choice,” Brown said. “You got to choose to be peaceful.”