by Eitan Simler, WMSLO Student Activist Grant Recipient
Upon hearing that Eva Schloss was coming to speak on campus, I was quite ecstatic. Though I was not aware of her story, I knew that she had undergone many struggles. I was certain that this event would be of the utmost importance to students’ educations, as well as faculty, staff, and community members.
As the treasurer, I was tasked with the job of fund raising for the event. This is how I came in contact with Women’s March SLO.
The event itself went smoothly. At the VIP dinner, we took pictures with Ms. Schloss and ate a small dinner. This group of people had funded the event and made it possible for over 500 students to attend for free. For that, the entire Chabad Student Group is eternally grateful.
At 7:30, we moved to the Chumash Auditorium where we saw hundreds of people waiting in line. Many were without tickets, and some had traveled as far as 3 hours to attend the event. We had not expected the massive turnout and were sad to have to turn away so many; unfortunately, the auditorium was beyond full capacity.
After a speech by Rachel Cohen, our student president, and President Armstrong, two interviewers began extracting Ms. Schloss’ story. We learned of her early friendship with Anne Frank. Schloss spoke of her hiding, her abduction on her 15th birthday, and the miracles that kept her alive in the concentration camps. Though she was recalling traumatic memories, she spoke with a light tone, offering the occasional joke. This suggested that she has a character of great resilience. Throughout her story, the audience remained captive. At the end, we had all felt like we were with her in the camp, experiencing the horrors and the miracles she had.
This was a highly successful event which inspired the participants. We are still getting feedback on the event and its relevance in the world today.
Thank you Women’s March SLO so much for contributing to the event. We really appreciate you supporting this opportunity; we hope to work with you again!