The Housing and Residence Life Association collaborated with the Student Action Team (SAT) to host an event called Boxes and Walls for Unity Week in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Jan. 20.
Ball State has hosted Unity Week since 1980, and 2022 marked the 42nd annual week of the celebration. This year was the first year Boxes and Walls joined the list of festivities.
The event was organized by Sean Sheptoski, assistant director for student leadership in Housing and Residence Life. Sheptoski has worked at Ball State for six years and wanted to host Boxes and Walls as a way to let students and faculty experience different types of oppression, discrimination and stereotypes.
Because Ball State is a predominantly white institution, Sheptoski highlighted the importance of students who do not go through discrimination and oppression on a daily basis having information accessible to them so they can better understand what their peers experience.
“It’s also nice to host this event during COVID because it’s a passive event. It’s not crowded, and there’s open space for people to walk around freely,” Sheptoski said. “One of the main reasons we chose to host the event this year was due to COVID purposes.”
Housing and Residence Life was joined by SAT to assemble the event. Elaine Quirke, the faculty chair for SAT, said their section of the walk-through to target issues such as period poverty and menstruation education.
“Period poverty is the lack of education about menstruation, and also the lack of access to female sanitary products,” she said. “Education disparities and also the shame and stigma around [menstruation] has always been a problem, especially for people who menstruate. It’s honestly not talked about much, so I think it’s really relevant right now.”
Unity Week is set to end Jan. 22 with Late Nite’s “Unify the Nite” event beginning at 9 p.m.