Updated: Thursday, 29 Apr 2010, 10:15 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010, 6:17 PM EDT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Two separate organizations were on Purdue's campus Wednesday afternoon to raise awareness about human rights.
The Human Rights Campaign was gaining signatures to send to Senator Evan Bayh and a feminist activism group was bringing attention to violence against women.
800 flags were neatly arranged in a circle on Purdue's Memorial Mall, each one representing someone who was discharged from the military since 1993 due to Don't ask Don't Tell, which bans gays from serving openly in the military .
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Field Organizer, Adrian Matanza, said the event on campus was part of a national stop tour.
"This is our 8th stop on the Voices of Honor Tour just in Indiana alone. We have 28 nationwide in six of our priority states," said Matanza.
Signatures to support the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell were obtained. HRC Indiana Veterans Field Organizer, Scott Spychala, said 65,000 veterans are serving right now and fear for their jobs.
"It creates service members to lie about who they are. If they could be themselves and be honest with the people they serve with it will actually help unit cohesion," said Spychala.
Once signatures are collected, they will be hand delivered to Bayh's office.
Matanza said roughly 2,000 signatures to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell have been collected across the state. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, 250 were collected at Purdue.
Also at the Memorial Mall Wednesday, several people were on hand to raise awareness about violence towards women. The Feminist Action Coalition for Today, or F.A.C.T., organized a flash mob with the theme of 'Breaking the Silence.' FACT president, Kathryn Jester, says it's all about raising awareness.
"We're here to get people around campus and in the community in general to understand that violence against women is very serious and it is something that happens to people and they don't even realize it's happening," said Jester.
FACT is a new organization that was formed based upon several requests from students.