Republished from Lumination Network, Oct. 22, 2014.
A new student-led group has made its way into the Lipscomb community, and it got the public’s attention with the painting of the rainbow bison.
Painting the Bison is something all students are welcomed to take part in. It’s close to the middle of campus and something that draws people’s attention. The Bison turned many heads when it was painted in all rainbow and read “October 11th, 7p.m. @ Bell Tower.”
The reason behind painting the bison rainbow, the students said, was to make a statement on campus and get other students’ attention.
“We decided to paint the bison because it has been always a huge symbol of student expression,” sophomore Kat DeVore said. “We thought this was a way to get the word out and get people’s attention because this is something that needs to be talked about.”
The students who painted the bison formed a group called “Represent the Rainbow”. The group was formed as a way to discuss gay rights and how to accept and love everyone. Sophomore Josh Yarbrough is the one leading this group. Yarbrough says this group is going to provide a safe place for people to come and discuss these issues. His plans for the group are to meet at “The Well” every Saturday night.
“This is a place for people to come and share testimonies, questions and doubts. There are a lot of opinions out there,” Yarbrough said. “I believe until we hear those things and test them against one another’s lives, we will never be able to figure out the best way to love one another.”
Yarbrough tried to put together a group like “Represent the Rainbow” last year, but for whatever reason it did not work out.
For the first meeting, the students met on campus at the bell tower and then walked over to “The Well”. This is an off campus event, but Sam Smith, Dean of Student Life, hopes that students feel as if they can come to the administration about subjects involving or relating to gay rights.
“I hope the students feel comfortable about coming into our offices and talking to us about this. This was a surprise to me, as well as to many of our students, to see a rainbow bison in the square,” Smith said.
No matter the stance on the issue, Smith is aware that students are talking about it.
“We want to know how we can partner up with students that are interested in exploring these types of questions,” Smith said. “How can we work together to create an environment where people feel comfortable talking about this topic and be able to better equip students to have these discussions.”
By Erika Thornsberry