UMSL junior Bradley Hult poses for the NOH8 Campaign that was held in the fall at the university.

Last fall, a last-minute cancellation of a student event at the University of Missouri–St. Louis resulted in a substitution that is now being recognized by an international organization. The Association of College Unions International will feature UMSL’s University Program Board for its NOH8 Campaign in its online publication due out Friday.

“Through the What’s New? Showcase, we feature innovative programs and activities on college campuses around the world,” said Elizabeth Stringer, associate editor of ACUI’s Belletin. “The NOH8 program was a unique way for students to express their support for a national campaign. It is a great example of the creativity we look for programmers to be incorporating on campus.”

UMSL’s no hate event mimicked a national photographic protest in direct response to the ban on same-sex marriages approved in California in 2008. Hollywood celebrities against the ban were photographed with the distinctive NOH8 logo painted on one cheek and a piece of duct tape across their mouths.

“We were sitting around the student life office talking about the no hate campaign and this opportunity just fell in our laps,” said Jared Thimes, chair of the University Program Board.

“We decided to tweak our campaign to include everyone,” Thimes said. “We wanted our message to be: UMSL students don’t discriminate or use hate speech against any group of people.”

Student photographer Danny Riese was enlisted to take photos, which were then displayed around the Millennium Student Center along with the message. Thimes said more than 100 students actually had their photographs taken, but many more students, faculty and staff saw the message.

“It was a good idea,” said Thimes.

ACUI agrees and will be passing it along to other universities.

Visit the ACUI Bulletin after March 29:

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

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