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UA Idol fundraiser to raise money for Day of Silence


By Aubrey McDonnell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, March 3, 2005
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Students who failed to impress the judges for TV's "American Idol" have the chance to make a comeback at a karaoke fundraiser tonight.

Students Promoting Respect and Individuality Through Education will host a karaoke event to raise money for the upcoming Day of Silence, a day for protest against harassment and prejudice affecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

UA Idol, a takeoff of TV's "American Idol," will be karaoke with a twist. It will cost UA pop-idol wannabes $2 to sing a song of their choice for the audience. The twist is, audience members can pay $1 to get a vocally-challenged volunteer to stop singing.

Another modification to the singing contest is that a struggling singer can pay $3 to have a friend join them on stage.

"We're hoping it will be a fun event, and we hope everyone has a good time," said Alex Grubb, president of SPRITE. "If it is successful, we might do it again next year."

SPRITE is working to raise money to buy T-shirts for the upcoming Day of Silence. They plan to give these T-shirts to students on the Day of Silence, which is April 13, said Grubb, a journalism junior.

"The whole purpose of the day is to have a visible analogy of the oppression GLBTs face and to bring awareness to GLBT issues," Grubb said.

The Day of Silence was founded in 1996 at the University of Virginia. This student-led action has since spread more than 1,900 middle schools, high schools and colleges nationwide.

"The Day of Silence is to protest the harassment and prejudice that affects the GLBT community," said Andy Goolsby, a molecular and cellular biology freshman.

This is the first year the UA will be involved with the Day of Silence, and coordinators hope it will be successful.

"We are trying to develop it here so that it is more widespread and we get more recognition," Goolsby said.

Students participating in the Day of Silence will begin their silence April 13 at 8 a.m. and break the silence at 4 p.m.

They plan to wear coordinated shirts, which they are hoping to buy with money from the UA Idol fundraiser, and they will also carry cards with the Day of Silence pledge on them.

UA Idol will be in the Cellar Restaurant tonight from 7 to 10. All students are invited to participate.



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