GISO encourages campus to wear purple Oct. 15


spirit day hands together

Oct. 8, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Presidential Commission on Gender, Identity and Sexual Orientation is urging the campus community to join millions of Americans who will wear purple Oct. 15 as a visible stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

A high school student conceptualized Spirit Day, as Oct. 15 is known, in 2010 as a means of memorializing those who lost their lives to bullying. Spirit Day has since become an international movement of solidarity for LGBT kids, teens and young adults.

GISO is sponsoring Sprit Day as part of Gender, Identity and Sexual Orientation month at SRU.

Today, eight out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment while at school. By inviting students, administrators and faculty to participate in Spirit Day, we can send a strong message of support to SRU's LGBT and allied students, while taking a firm stand against bullying, said Deborah Schell and Tim Oldakowski, co-chairs of GISO.

In addition to wearing purple, there are other ways the campus community can show their support. Students, faculty, staff and administrators are invited to:

• Take the Spirit Day commitment to stand against bullying and for LGBT youth by registering at;

• Stop by the Smith Student Center during common hour to have a picture taken and then post it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #LGBT and #SpiritDay

Of the disproportionate number of LGBT students bullied in the past year, less than half of those targeted sought help from their schools. Spirit Day shows LGBT kids, teens, and young adults, that there are people they can go to for help and acceptance and that their place of learning is a safe space, organizers said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Rita Abent | 724.738.2091 |