Following an increasingly intolerant climate of homophobia and racism on Smith’s campus, students came together to organize the Human Chain for Change, a campus-wide circle of the entire Smith community that was meant to bring awareness to both the intolerance on campus and Smith’s goal of a safe and supportive community. At exactly 12:30 PM on November 21, students, faculty, and staff alike stopped what they were doing to go outside and join hands in a human chain that encompassed nearly all of campus.
Such a large event had to be organized and planned meticulously, and so it was. A small group of Smithies worked together to crunch numbers and talk logistics regarding the plan — from assigning zone captains with walkie talkies to key points in the chain around campus, to identifying an event leader for each residential house, to sending out press releases to local news organizations, Smithies left no stone unturned in their planning.
This was one of the events that eventually led to the creation of Celebration, an annual celebration of song and dance in the Smith Quadrangle started in response to anti-gay graffiti found on a Gardiner House wall. The success of this plan was only due to mass numbers of participation and involvement by the student body, indicating the desire of Smith students to send a message of community and support to those around them.