This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Vassar Community Lends Its Support to AIDS Awareness Week

The week of December 1, several campus organizations hosted events for World AIDS Week to raise awareness of people living with HIV and AIDS around the world and efforts at finding a cure. (World AIDS Week is a week of events beginning on World AIDS Day, which has been observed on December 1 since 1988.) Events included free HIV testing, a talk by Randy Barron, M.D., about the experience of living with HIV, and film screenings of Rent and Life Support. Several alumnae/i also returned to campus to participate in the official start of the week's events, which included a reinstallation of the AIDS Memorial Plaque and an alumnae/i panel. The memorial plaque honors friends of Vassar who were lost to AIDS, and the ceremony featured an open microphone where attendees could share memories, stories, and thoughts regarding AIDS issues. The 1991 Vassar AIDS quilt was on display at the event and was rededicated along with the plaque. The panel, moderated by author and activist Eric Marcus ’80, included Kevin Aldridge ’99, Suzanne Benzer P’89, Kevin Berrill ’78, and Associate Professor of Sociology Diane Harriford. "The best way I know to honor Vassar friends whose names are on the memorial plaque is to share our memories of them, which is some of what we did on World AIDS Day. But HIV/AIDS is still very much with us, so I hope the plaque will also serve to remind all members of the Vassar community how essential it is to educate, organize, and exercise care to avoid its continued spread," said Marcus.

January 2009

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