Students and faculty from Butler University’s peace and conflicts studies program unveiled a new peace pole in a ceremony outside Starbucks last Friday.
Students and faculty from the program revealed they had been planning the project for more than a semester.
The Fall Peace Festival included Hebrew, Catholic and Islamic prayers for peace, as well as traditional Syrian music.
Butler President James Danko, Provost Kathryn Morris and Dean Jay Howard of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as various students and faculty attended the ceremony.
Previously, a peace pole stood outside Robertson Hall near Star Fountain.
“We found that the peace pole was missing,” said Kelly Hamman, a Butler graduate. “It was totally gone.”
Hamman and other students approached Craig Auchter, director of the program, about getting a new peace pole on campus.
Auchter and a group of students dove into planning for a new peace pole in spring 2013 after he returned from sabbatical.
“We worked together, but the students had a very key role,” Auchter said. “It was the students who reached out to R.E.A.C.H. because we weren’t sure how we were going to pay for it.”
R.E.A.C.H. offered to fund the $1,500 pole that displays the phrase “May peace prevail on Earth” in 16 different languages. The various languages were chosen to represent languages from all the continents on Earth, including major world languages, indigenous languages and sign language.
The pole stands in the courtyard outside Atherton Union by the entrance to Starbucks. With the large amount of people passing by every day, the planning group said it felt this location would encourage the most people to think about peace. The pole represents a silent reminder to act peacefully every day.
“I think Butler is really at a time when we are ready to go forward with our efforts towards peace, studying peace, understanding peace and doing peace, working for peace,” Auchter said.
At the event, people were asked to think about their own definition of peace.
Several people shared the message “May peace prevail on Earth” in different languages. Audience members took the microphone and shared what they thought about peace.
“We must not be the same in order to be together,” senior Needa Malik said. “Peace comes in many parts: peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of body, peace of soul–which sometimes can only result from that last piece of cake.”