QUILL had students sharing emotions on VA Tech tragedy

By on April 25, 2007

Quinnipiac students came together in Mancheski to celebrate the art of poetry last Wednesday night. Timothy Dansdill, an English professor and a poet, ran the event. The poetry reading focused mainly on the Virginia Tech tragedy. Every student was encouraged to share their personal feelings about this catastrophe.

Many of Dansdill’s students came to read their poems and support Dansdill’s efforts to create an artistic outlet for Quinnipiac’s artists.

“I thought the poetry reading went really [well],” said Kelly O’Connell, a sophomore print journalism major and editor at The Chronicle. “It was nice to see students come together and do something different, something important.”

Sitting in a circle munching on brownies and cookies, the students were made to feel as comfortable as possible. In a community made up of people who are mostly away from their families, there was a sense of closeness and security.

Dansdill broke down the barriers of typical teacher-student decorum and spoke about things that are still considered taboo. He began reading a student’s note, who was taking a vow of silence for the day to represent the silence of many homosexual, bisexual and transgender people. Dansdill started to discuss “Lyric Life” and all that it stands for. He said “Lyric Life” is about accepting everyone and embracing differences.

Students gathered to read their poems, to sing their songs and to speak their minds. Taronte Venable, a sophomore physical therapy major, performed a few of his songs at the event. Dansdill introduced himself to Taronte at a coffeehouse event earlier in the year and it inspired him to play another coffeehouse.

“It was something artistic toward what happened at Virginia Tech.something more meaningful than just standing in silence,” Venable said.

Dansdill and the students concluded that in times of tragedy, poetry readings are a great source to vent and express pent-up anger and sadness. Through song and poetry, the students express what they feel they can’t actually say.

“Singing was a second voice to me saying the things that I would not truly be able to say [otherwise],” Venable said.

With an events calendar filled with all sorts of activities, the students felt that the Quinnipiac calendar could use more coffeehouse-style poetry readings. Dansdill and the students hope to reach their goal of having the campus be more accepting of artistic expression.


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