“Die-In” Held at Saint Anselm College

Students from Saint Anselm College staged a silent "Die-In" in the Coffee Shop. 

Black lives matter (even at Saint Anselm College).

"So here we are this afternoon, lying down for four and a half minutes to bring attention to the everyday issue of racial justice in the United States,” was part of a statement read by India Barrows ‘16, before a crowd in the dining hall at Saint Anselm College.

Despite the fact they are in the midst of preparing for final exams, a dedicated group of students decided that today was the day to speak up. Like thousands of other people across the country, they staged a silent “die-in” demonstration in both dining halls on campus to protest the recent deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, and overall systematic abuse of people of color.

Students wore black clothing and held signs with statements like “Black Lives Matter,” “Hands up Don’t Shoot,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “Stop Police Brutality.”   They lay on the floor for four minutes to represent the four hours that Brown’s body was left on the street after he was shot.

At the end of the “die-in” students exited with the “hands up, don't shoot" pose which has served as rallying cry that has begun to define a movement. They walked from Davison, the main dining hall, to the Coffee Shop where they reenacted the “die-in.”

Although the event was organized exclusively by students in the Multicultural Student Coalition, some faculty and staff joined in to show their support. According to Nyatan Bol ’17, “I participated because I am tired of being complacent. Not saying anything validates those who oppress us.”

Students staged a silent "Die-In" at the Coffee Shop

Reflecting back on the experience, one participant said that what she witnessed was symbolic of what is happening in society today: “Some people stopped and gave us encouraging comments, asked questions and even joined us. Others did not even look our way. They pretended like nothing was happening.”

One of the main goals of the “die-in” was to generate dialogue. A follow-up discussion is being planned  for next semester to help facilitate these conversations.

Below are additional photos taken at the "Die-In" held at Saint Anselm College.


#BlackLivesMatter #SACLivesMatter

  • Jay Jones

    I've been enjoying the blog, Professor Bouchard…great to hear your thoughts again after so many years. Was thinking of this post tonight as I just finished packing to take a group of students up to the Stratford (Canada) Shakespeare Festival for the weekend. You need to make it out there if you've never been. I checked out the Conversatio curriculum as well. Seems like you guys were able to hold onto what made the old format great while still opening it up to meet current needs. Kudos.

  • Gary Bouchard

    Thank you for this Jay, and it is certainly great to hear your voice across the miles and years! You will be pleased to know that my son who was born and named Jay when you were a student at Saint Anselm is now a junior English major at Carroll College in Montana. If you are taking young people up to Stratford, life is very good. It is on my list of places to pilgrim. The engagement and interest of alumni like yourself in the core transition here at Saint Anselm is important and really encouraging. In the past several years there has certainly been much ado — and not about nothing! gb

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