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Think Day, April 16, Russell Sage College, Troy, New York

On April 16, a coalition of faculty and students (including HAW supporters) are sponsoring "Think Day" to encourage the college community to think about the US, Iraq, and the current world situation. The core of Think Day will be a 2-hour program of poetry readings, dramatic performances, music, and analytical presentations held in the main gathering area on campus. There will also be an open mike, an opinion wall for posters and writings, an internet hook-up for sending opinions to power brokers, and a video on the work of Women Against War. Think Day is being held in conjunction with a series of antiwar educationals, forums, and actions in colleges and high schools throughout the Albany, New York, capital district.


The following is a report written and circulated by one of the student activists involved in the Think Day even at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY ­ a coalition event that included supporters of HAW.

Hello all!
I know it's been a while, but I felt the urge to talk about what a wonderful success Think Day 2003, a day to get students thinking about what is going on in the world currently (particularly regarding the war in Iraq) was today!

We set up around 11am. There were walls where one could make their own posters expressing how they felt about the war in Iraq, or the situations in the world in general. There was another wall asking people to express what they felt Patriotism was. We had a video of Women and War from Reverend Beth Illingsworth. We had a table full of informative pamphlets regarding the U.S. and Iraq and the global community's view of things.

We had some wonderful singers. Some songs included "One Tin Soilder" and "Blowin' In The Wind" as well as some Nancy Griffith numbers. One Sage theater student sang a beautiful rendition of "Bring Him Home" from the Broadway musical Les Miserables. We had Dr. Stephen Leibo speak about the aftermath of our invasion/liberation of Iraq and what the Bush administration may be planning on doing next.

Then we had Professor David Baecker read a delightfully colorful piece he wrote regarding pop culture and the war. I myself read an adamantly anti-war piece regarding the the situation and free speech (several people asked me for a copy of it, if you would like one, please e-mail me for it and I will send you a copy). Dr. Skotnes spoke about coming together as a community to figure out how to deal with the war and it's impact. We had a few more songs, and then a Sage student spoke at the open-mic portion about ultra left-wing activist and documentarian (and Oscar winner) Michael Moore (Roger & Me, Bowling For Columbine). Moore was mentioned about 3 times by 3 separate speakers at today's event, something I found interesting.

All in all, it was a great day. We had people from several points of view speak their mind, or write it on the Think Day Walls. There were quite a few people who sat and listened to what was going on in Buchman.

A big hand and great thanks to all those who helped participate this day, put it together, and who just came to hear what was on people's minds. Even if it is a small thing, the best way to make a difference is by coming together and talking about it!
---Shannon Barton

Contact: Andor Skotnes, skotna@sage.edu