By Jessica Murphy | Staff Writer

The Mercy Center for Spiritual life organized a United in Mercy rally that took place outside McAuley Hall on September 14th.

The event was presented for students and faculty to join together to project a unified voice against intolerance, bigotry, racism, and violence. Members of the Salve community took the opportunity to speak about what it means to be united in mercy.

Dr. Anna Mae Meyer, director of the Mercy Center, began the rally by talking about the difficulties Catherine McAuley faced in her own life but how the determination and vision to create a better world carried her upward and forward.

Senior Admissions Counselor Darwin Almonte offered his view on the subject by saying that although silence is a form of acceptance, Salve will not be silent but instead “will stand in solidarity with the empathy that our education preaches,” continuing the virtues and traditions of Catherine McAuley.

Assistant Professor Miguel Romero gave insight on how mercy is not only a slogan of our university but a virtue that we must practice in our day-to-day lives. Romero spoke of the parable of the good Samaritan as a way to inspire the community to serve their neighbor with works of mercy.

Even Salve Regina University President Sister Jane Gerety, who felt that it was appropriate to begin the academic year united in this manner, encouraged the community to “be our own shining city on a hill.” She also offered her own interpretation of what it means to be united in mercy, which is to “love in the face of need.”

Although the rally was primarily led by faculty, junior student Grayce Rogers spoke about what it means to be united in mercy as a student. She encouraged fellow students to not let negativity “loom over” them but instead take action. “We must be reactive not proactive, let us not wait until tragedy strikes, let us change its course,” said Rogers.

Despite receiving an overwhelming response after her speech, Rogers was nervous when preparing. “I was more nervous about what I was going to say but it was because I had too much to say and I wanted to be concise and reach into the hearts of the students and inspire them,” said Rogers.

In terms of how Salve Regina can spread messages of unity and mercy on campus Grayce believes the solution is as simple as getting involved. Rogers says, “It starts from within and then baby steps and once you start getting involved once you are graduated and in the real world, those steps aren’t that hard to take.”

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