Many students and staff have been spotted wearing safety pins around campus, following the election of Donald Trump.
The safety pin movement has been started to show a symbol of solidarity with minorities who may feel unsafe following the election.
Rachel Perkins, a Wartburg student who supports this movement, wears her safety pin to show her support.
“It’s a symbolization stating that you are a safe person for people who feel they are marginalized,” Perkins said.
The movement was started on campus by pastor Brian Beckstrom, who feels students need a way to show their support for each other.
“I was looking for something we could do, something to bring people together regardless of who they voted for. We want people to know we’re here to support them, even if they feel unsafe,” Beckstrom said.
It was initially a movement that began in the United Kingdom following the Brexit vote, and was brought to the United States after some of the attacks against people of different sexual orientations, and people of diverse racial backgrounds.
Beckstrom said he feels the movement may not take away the fear people have, but he hopes it gets us talking about other ways we can speak out against acts of hate.
“If it does anything at all to help our students know they’re respected, cared for and loved, then I think it’s a good thing,” Beckstrom said.
Pastor Ramona Bouzard also supports the movement, proudly wearing a safety pin, and feels something as simple as a safety pin can help spark conversation among students.
“I know students who are on both sides of the political spectrum who have taken them, because they want to listen to each other,” Bouzard said.
Bouzard says that the hardest part about getting people with differing opinions to connect with each other is the listening aspect,.
She said people tend to be focused on what they’re going to say next instead of simply listening to what others have to say.
Perkins said she feels this movement has helped Wartburg’s campus because of the many shared reactions on campus. She has seen a lot of fear, and hopes this movement sparks amongst people who may not realize what minorities have been through.
Perkins feels that people simply need to take a step back, and look at the situation from other peoples’ perspectives.
“Put yourself in the shoes of the people who are marginalized. I think people should take a step back and realize that these fears are real, and then maybe it would be easier to see why we need to let others know we are here for them,” Perkins said.