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Students respond to local, international concerns

Posted: 04/04/2011

Skidmore students have a solid reputation for hunkering down and helping out on the local, regional, even international levels when circumstances demand a response. A vigil for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and a concert to raise funds for a group that supports teens with autism disorders are two recent events that demonstrate students’ willingness to work for the benefit of others.

The earthquake happened just before the start of spring break. Sergio Hernandez ’12 used the week to strategize on a Skidmore response, and nailed down the details once he returned to campus. The vigil drew about 70 students, faculty, and staff to Case Center March 25, where through poetry, music, and personal reflection, they honored those who lost their lives and their homes in the March 11 disaster. One of the speakers was Professor Masako Inamoto, who was in Tokyo for college business on the day of the earthquake.  The reaction of the Japanese in the hardest-hit areas “shows the heart and strength of the people, helping each other,” she said.

Members of the Asian Cultural Awareness club and Nihongo, the Skidmore Japanese club, assisted those attending in making paper cranes and lighting candles to mourn those lost in the disasters.

Said Hernandez, “My goal was to bring awareness to the Skidmore community.  Even though I could not do something immediately, I wanted to somehow say, ‘we’re thinking of you and we’re willing to help’."

A similar motivation was behind a March 31 concert to benefit ASPIRe, N.Y., a community-based recreation and activity group for teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. 

Hosted by the Drastic Measures, Skidmore’s only charity co-ed a cappella group, the “All Pull Together” a cappella concert featured a number of Skidmore and Saratoga Springs singing groups performing before a crowd of nearly 400 people at the Zankel Music Center.

All the performers were warmly received but two Skidmore groups drew an especially enthusiastic response: the Treblemakers, who gave a lively performance of “Forget You and Gold Digger Mashup” by Cee Lo Green and Kanye West, and the Lift Every Voice choir, which presented two Kirk Franklin numbers: "We Are Marching in the Light of God" and “My Desire.”

Community groups performing included Waldorf A Cappella and Primrose Lane, a quartet from the Racing City Chorus of Saratoga Springs. The crowd loved the quartet’s rendition of “Walkin My Baby Back Home” and “Roses of Picardy.” Take a look at the video that accompanies this story to get a sense of the concert.

According to Bryce Klatsky ’11, president of the Drastic Measures, the group will soon present a check for approximately $1,000 to officials from ASPIRe, N.Y., bringing the total amount raised for the organization this year to $2,600.

Photos taken by Sam Brook '12, Lauren Elsner '13 and Melanie Taverner '13