As Georgetown students prepared for final exams, some set aside their work to attend musical and dance performances aimed at increasing awareness of AIDS and gender inequality last night in Gaston Hall.

The event, hosted by the Georgetown University AIDS Coalition, aimed to “to unify and increase our campus community’s involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS by bringing together a diverse group of student performers committed to raising awareness,” according to a campus-wide broadcast e-mail.

The event capped a week of events centered around World AIDS Day 2005, which was yesterday, including a panel discussion on Tuesday night co-hosted by the Black Student Alliance and GU NAACP and a screening of “Angels in America: Part 2” on Wednesday night.

Coalition President Richard Thayer (COL ’07) said that group has been on campus for three years. Although it has “such an active, politically informed student body,” AIDS remains a relatively low priority in the minds of students, he said.

“We have a real, tangible ability to make a difference,” he added.

The concert included poetry by Jordyne Blaise and performances by the a capella group Superfood, the GU Step Team, Groove Theory and the South Asian Society.

Katharine Lang (COL ’08), events and speakers coordinator for the coalition, said that she hopes that the event will increase enthusiasm for the cause.

“I think that the most important thing is to get people excited about fighting AIDS,” Lang said, adding that the coaltion hoped to “make it the most diverse show on campus” by including performances by several different groups.

Between performances, members of the coalition offered facts about AIDS in the world today.

Thayer said that all proceeds would be donated to the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which offers free HIV testing.

Coordinators of the event said that they hoped to raise awareness for the “I Know My Status” campaign, which encourages HIV testing.

Thayer said that he believes that by raising money for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and advertising the testing campaign, the coalition will be able to “break the stigma of getting tested.”

Other organizations working in cooperation with the coalition to plan the event included the Black Student Alliance, GUPride, GUSA, EChA de Georgetown, Students of Color Alliance, Take Back the Night and the SFS Dean’s Office.

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