By Kelsey Jacobson [twitter url=”http://northernstudentonline.com/2014/09/27/students-from-bsu-shared-experiences-during-suicide-awareness-week/” float=”left”][fbshare url=”http://northernstudentonline.com/2014/09/27/students-from-bsu-shared-experiences-during-suicide-awareness-week/” type=”button”][linkedin_share url=”http://northernstudentonline.com/2014/09/27/students-from-bsu-shared-experiences-during-suicide-awareness-week/”] [hr] On September 18th, the first thing people noticed when entering into Hagg-Sauer were students, professors, and people from the community who showed up to the event. All the seats were filled in one of the biggest lecture halls on campus, yet there was not enough room to contain them. Some students had to stand at the back of the room. All of these people gathered to hear four students shared their personal experiences. With over four hundred and fifty people in the room, 17 year old, Saphire Brown started to sing a song that she wrote. She shared her experience of growing up and being bullied in high school. Now, she is the voice for others with her courage campaign which is dedicated to people who have been bullied. Sam Spollar, a senior at BSU, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at a young age. Asperger’s Syndrome is considered a high functioning form of Autism. He described his Asperger’s as having a hard time communicating with others. Spollar had to teach himself how to understand facial expressions and social expectations. In high school he was marginalized due to people being blinded by his syndrome. When in college, he distanced himself socializing for the first three years. During his fourth year, he decided to be active on and outside of campus. Spollar felt strongly that BSU’s faculty and disabilities office made a huge difference, and prevailed. Not long ago he started a YouTube channel to give encouraging advice to others like him. “Having the four students present their personal stories to the audience reinforced the fact that one person cannot speak for one group, and that everyone has their story to tell,” said Kate Larson, a Psychology professor at BSU. She said the panel was overwhelming, but in a good way, because it means a lot to people. The panel that night used a Stevie Smith quote to symbolize the event and suicide awareness.
“I was much further out than you thought
and not waving but drowning.”