Just over 40 years ago John Lennon asked the world to “give peace a chance’ while staging a bed-in during a visit to Montreal. This week the CSU is asking students to do the same with the university’s first ever Peace Week.
Peace Week began on Monday with an interfaith dialogue hosted by Concordia’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy. The event was promoted as an opportunity to open up dialogue between the various faiths and discuss the possibility of peace.
Adrien Severyns, VP external and projects and one of Peace Week’s organizers, explained that the idea behind the week had been on the table for some time, but was finally organized this year. There is no set goal for the week but Severyns hopes that students will come away with a better understanding of peace.
“I would like students to reflect on what peace means to them, the many different aspects of peace, and what other people think of peace,” said Severyns.
There are a number of events open to students, including a volunteering abroad presentation in which attendees will hear about the opportunities for Concordia students to volunteer and find humanitarian work outside of the country, a food festival dubbed “Hungry for Peace”, which will let students meet a variety of student clubs and enjoy free food, and a peace-themed night at Reggie’s called “Peace Out,” where students are encouraged to wear as much white as possible. The CSU has also decided to donate a portion of the cover charge raised from the Reggie’s event to a charity.
Severyns believes that all the events of Peace Week are meaningful, but he’s most looking forward to hearing Elie Wiesel speak this Tuesday. Following the speech, Wiesel will be answering student’s questions and signing books.
Wiesel, a Romanian-born Jew, survived the holocaust after being sent to both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel went on to write a number of books based on his experience as a holocaust survivor, which eventually led him to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
Severyns is sure that Wiesel’s lecture will leave some sort of impression on the students lucky enough to have registered early for the sold-out event.
“The importance and the significance of having Elie Wiesel speak is going have a deep impact and be very inspirational for students,” Severyns said.