Women’s and LGBTQ Center to display AIDS Memorial Quilt

Story by Sam Rosenberry

Student Senate passed a bill with a voice vote helping the Women’s and LGBTQ Center pay to display the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

It will cost a projected $4,000 and senate will pay for half of it out of the Finance Commission’s Special Reserve Account.

Finance Director Patrick Martin said the quilt is important given the context of the disease.

“Especially now, (AIDS) is a huge national and international issue,” he said, “it’s a moving exhibit that’s been traveling the country for decades,” he said.

It passed in his commission 9-0-1 before being voted on by senate.

According to the quilt’s website, it was first made in 1987. It is made of over 40,000 sections that measure 12-square feet each. Every block represents a person who died from AIDS, and any person can make a block to dedicate to someone.

The sections of the quilt go on display throughout the country. UW-Eau Claire will display 28 of the sections, according to the website.

This is more than most places tend to display, at least on this year’s schedule. The quilt is also shown at locations such as Harvard, The AIDS Walk in Atlanta and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Some parts of the quilt were on display at the university many years ago, and Martin said that “bringing it back is just a really cool way to commit this as our campus recognizing the issue.”

Only Director Ben Ponkratz spoke during discussion of the bill and he said that he is happy that something as important as the AIDS Quilt will be able to be seen on this campus.

“This looks like a very unique opportunity for us to participate in.”

The quilt will be on display Dec. 14-16 in the Council Fire Room.