Snow holds solidarity vigil to show support for international students impacted by U.S. immigration changes
EPHRAIM—Heritage Plaza at Snow College was the setting for a vigil last week to show support for students and others affected by recent changes in immigration policy.
Organized by Snow student Aspen Nielson, the “Solidarity Vigil” on Thursday, Feb. 9 attracted more than 150 participants. Alex Peterson, director of the Center for Global Engagement at Snow, moderated the proceedings.
Attendees were mostly Snow students but also included faculty and a significant turnout of local residents.
Nielson, and other organizers stressed that there was nothing political about the event, nor was the event intended to convey anti-Trump feelings.
“The goal is just to let (international) students know that there are people who stand behind them. They’re not alone in this. I see this moving (Snow College) forward by preventing racism and allowing people to know that there is support. Students are empowered make really big changes and impact society.”
Nielson says the idea to organize the event came to her as she was walking between classes. “As a white, female college student at Snow College from Utah, I carry so much privilege,” she says. “I don’t take the risks that other people do from other countries”
“It was Aspen’s idea,” Peterson says. “She’s very smart, and an activist on some things, so she came to us and said, ‘How about we do this?’ and we agreed (to help).”
While most attendees gathered by the time the event started, Nielson estimates that as the hour-long event progressed, the crowd grew to at least 150.
Speakers included retired BYU professor Susan Elizabeth Howe, who recited poetry, and Peterson, who read a statement given a week earlier by Snow President Gary Carlston expressing the college’s commitment to international students.
Carlston’s statement is on display in the Greenwood Student Center.