Zombies for Higher Education

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by Leah Glazer

 

“Forget brains! We want knowledge!”

That’s the tagline for the Zombie Walk, an undertaking of Western Connecticut State University’s campus radio station, 91.7 WXCI.

The walk, set for Saturday, May 7 at 4pm, is meant to inform and awaken students as to how Connecticut state schools will be impacted by recent budget cuts. The Zombie Walk’s goal is to provide future college students with the knowledge that despite the cuts, one can still receive the most out of a higher education.

by Leah Glazer


 

“Forget brains! We want knowledge!”

That’s the tagline for the Zombie Walk, an undertaking of Western Connecticut State University’s campus radio station, 91.7 WXCI.

The walk, set for Saturday, May 7 at 4pm, is meant to inform and awaken students as to how Connecticut state schools will be impacted by recent budget cuts. The Zombie Walk’s goal is to provide future college students with the knowledge that despite the cuts, one can still receive themost out of a higher education.

Zombies will gather at WestConn’s Midtown Campus, located at 181 White Street, to undergo “zombification”. Free face paint, adhesive gashes, bites and fake blood will be provided by WXCI, and by 5pm, the estimated 100 zombies will shuffle and drag their decaying bodies through downtown Danbury to the Heirloom Arts Theatre, located at 155 Main Street.  Heirloom will be hosting a convention with information on scholarships, internships and financial aid. By 7pm, local bands will take Heirloom’s stage and play 30 minute sets up through 10pm. The Zombie Walk is free and open to the public, and the convention and after show is available to the public for $5. All proceeds go to WXCI.

When asked what influenced the Zombie Walk, Carolina Bara, a senior at WestConn and Promotions Director of WXCI said, “I definitely feel like they don’t educate you enough in high school with what’s available to you. I feel like they don’t individualize the situation with each kid – knowing family history, where they come from, how vital education is to them- they’re just told, ‘Higher education, you’ve got to go to school, you need this degree, and that’s how you’re going to get a job.’ To just put that in front of a kid…[ a high school senior will] just pick any major. It leads to a lot of financial debt and unknowing of your own future, and it’s just a confusing couple of years in your life.”

 

 

“Budget cuts equals zombies!”

 

 

On top of students being uninformed of education possibilities, too many are unaware of the recent budget cuts occurring across the state.

“When I heard about the budget cuts, I felt personally attacked,” said Bara. “[The cut] was just a fuel within me. Zack Foster, the General Manager of WXCI, came up with the idea of doing a zombie walk, and that’s cool and fun, but you need to have a purpose. When the budget cuts were announced I was like, ‘Yes! Budget cuts equals zombies!’”

The zombie theme holds a strong metaphor to the lack of awareness on the recent cuts. With limited media coverage on the state’s upcoming changes and an apathetic attitude in standing up against them, the Zombie Walk hopes to wake up the community to recent consolidations.

“I’m only informed because I’m a WestConn student,” Bara explained. “The school sends us e-mails on all this information and if I didn’t know and kept continuing with school, I’d feel like I would be even more upset than I am now. Now I want to change it because I’m able to, and if I didn’t try I would always think about it. I would always regret it. Even though we’re the minority right now, we can make it news, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Bara’s fuel turned into a unique and creative way to inform Danbury’s community in a contagious manner. Zombies are a large part of pop culture, and though many attendants will probably participate in the Zombie Walk as an excuse to dress up, they will leave with the information and knowledge on how to better their education.

“For the high school kids to have this, I’m hoping they’ll feel more empowered to their future,” Bara said. “Now they’ll know about a particular scholarship, and if they don’t ignore it, they’ll find something that’s going to help their future.”

Danbury’s streets will remain open during the walk, so passerbys should question the mass of bloody, gooey bodies.  Bara hopes this will inadvertently inform more Connecticut residents about higher education options.

“I can’t wait until someone is like, ‘What possessed them to all dress like that?’ Yeah, you ask why!” Bara joked.

The walk itself should take 30-45 minutes and will start from the Midtown Campus’ Quad. All zombies must register for the event upon arrival in order to participate in the walk. WestConn officers will provide their services to help zombies cross the streets, and once the zombies reach their destination they can mingle, inquire about scholarships or financial aid and enter raffles and door prizes. After an hour of the convention, DJs, Zen Dudes and the Universe, New Year’s Revolution, Special Delivery, and Mr. Timothy Dunn will grace Heirloom’s stage on a half hour rotation until the end of the event at 10pm.

As Bara reflected on WXCI’s drive and hard work to organize the Zombie Walk, she smiled and said, “There’s nothing negative that’s going to come out of this. If you want change, your actions have to speak louder than you can.”

 

For more information on the Zombie Walk, contact Bara at WXCI.Promos@gmail.com.

 


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