SJP leads demonstration against war in Iraq

A demonstration in the Lower Quad against the occupation of Iraq gave students a platform to voice their concerns about the seven-year war. Students for Justice and Peace led the nonviolent event during convo hour Thursday.

SJP set up tables outside the Murray-Herrick Campus Center, while others held signs with statistics about the war. Volunteers handed out informational slips to people passing by.

Junior SJP coordinator Erin Hagen took part in a student drum circle.

“Faculty and staff say it’s really cool to walk by and hear a drum circle going on,” Hagen said.

Fellow junior SJP coordinator Erik Nielsen said he believes the demonstration gave students a healthy way to voice their concerns about the war.

“When you don’t have space to express yourself, and you’re dealing with something as terrible as war, you need a space to do something,” Nielsen said.

SJP has done other small demonstrations against the war in the past. Last year they created a war barometer on the walkway to the upper quad. The barometer tracked the costs of the war per minute.

The purpose of Thursday’s demonstration was to open dialogue to students. Nielsen said the demonstration gave students an opportunity to reflect on the Iraqi war. Like the demonstration, SJP plans events aimed at educating students.

“It’s about how we can present it in a way that is new, creative, exciting and in a way that will engage students” Nielsen said.

Ultimately Nielson hopes the demonstration produced a chain reaction.

“The goal is to say you have a voice,” Nielsen said “And you should be OK and feel inclined to use it.”

Gina Dolski can be reached at