SERVE Team Holds COVID-19 Memorial


Baldwin Wallace’s SERVE team hosted a COVID-19 memorial on March 24 in front of the Strosacker Union to remember those who have died from the virus.  

Mariah Halata, leadership in higher education intern, said they decided to plan the event after hearing the many stories about losing loved ones from those in the Baldwin Wallace community. 

“We are all so excited that the masks are done and that we are hopefully moving on,” Halata said. “But we do need to remember our community members that are never going to forget COVID. They are never going to forget this because it will be ingrained in their memory forever.” 

The event began with speeches from President Bob Helmer, Vice President for Student Affairs Tamika Rashid, and Assistant Director of Outreach and Prevention Timothy Hall.  

During her speech at the memorial, Rashid said that students should respect the space and pace that their peers are comfortable with as mandates are lifted.  

SERVE invited students to place a white flag on the ground of the grand walkway to represent three lives lost in Cuyahoga County. Participants could choose to write the name of someone they lost from COVID-19 on the flag.  

Attendees placed over 1,000 flags on the ground to represent the over 3,000 lives lost in Cuyahoga County.  

Sophomore Manimone Sengvoravong is the SERVE Team Student Director and helped plan the event.  

Sengvoravong said the flags were inspired by the Active Minds backpack campaign last semester, where the club laid backpacks across the Union lawn to represent lives lost from suicide.  

She hoped that the visual would motivate students to pause and reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on BW and the community, even if they did not personally lose a loved one.  

“We thought that this memorial would be a good way to connect and acknowledge this has been hard,” Sengvoravong said. “People have become so desensitized to hearing so much about it, but it should be something that should be acknowledged.”  

SERVE also extended an offer to the Berea community and local businesses to participate in the memorial.  

Halata said many local businesses in Berea were affected by COVID-19, so they wanted the community to know BW is thinking of them.  

SERVE placed trigger warnings throughout the memorial, and counseling resources were available in the Brain Center for students throughout the week.