Top 5 campus events

1. Coffin protest In a school year filled with many student demonstrations, the image of makeshift coffins on the Francis Quadrangle is hard to forget. The coffins were painted black, white, red, brown and yellow to represent people of all skin colors who are victims of injustice. A social justice initiative made up of MU students called “Wage Peace” held the demonstration Dec. 11, 2014, to protest racial discrimination and police brutality. During the march from the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center to the Quad, members carried makeshift coffins on their shoulders. Students also carried posters reading “Wage Peace” and chanted the civil rights movement anthem “We Shall Overcome” on their march across campus.

2. The Vagina Monologues expand for 2015 The 14th annual MU Vagina Monologues celebrated its success in past years with two shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at Missouri Theatre. Junior Adrienne Donica, a performer in the show, told The Maneater in February that having two shows was a great change because it meant more exposure within the community and more money could be raised for Columbia-based organizations, such as True North and The L.E.A.D. Institute, that exist to aid women facing domestic and sexual violence. Adapted from a book by Eve Ensler, the sketches are intended to raise awareness about issues facing the female community, such as sexism and sexual assault.

3. Jane Goodall brings ‘hope’ to Mizzou Arena World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall didn’t disappoint when she visited campus in September 2014. At 80 years old, she sold out Mizzou Arena and inspired the audience with tales of her fieldwork with chimpanzees in Tanzania. She credited her life and career to her mother who encouraged her passion for working with animals. Yet, her talk that night was not about her research, but rather a message to fight for the environment. She also brought with her a message of hope. “My greatest reason for hope is the young people,” Goodall said. “When the young people take action in the things they care about, good things happen.”

4. Laverne Cox comes to MU Advocate and “Orange is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox visited campus Oct. 6, 2014, and spoke to a sold-out crowd in Missouri Theatre. Cox is the first African-American transgender woman to produce her own television show, “TRANSform Me.” She spoke about growing up and becoming proud of her transgender identity in Mobile, Alabama, a place that wasn’t always OK with her true self. She also touched on issues such as violence against the transgender community. Cox told the audience to love and accept one another, saying, “You can’t tell someone who they are. Let them tell you who they are.”

5. MSA Elections produced record turnout The highest voter turnout in history helped elected Missouri Students Association President Payton Head and Vice President Brenda Smith-Lezama. All in all, 7,075 students voted in the 2014 MSA election and the pair’s slate, Ignite Mizzou, was elected by more than 1,000 votes. In last year’s election, only 5,387 votes were cast. The increase in turnout can be credited to Smith-Lezama told The Maneater in November that she and Head campaigned until the polls were officially closed. Determined to get every vote possible, Smith-Lezama said she thought it was incredible to have won by such a large of a margin.

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