A pin for your thoughts

Torea Frey

Ginny Gelms is keeping her commemorative Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day pin for posterity.

“I’m sure they’ll be worth something in the near future,” said Gelms, a Weinberg sophomore, “because there aren’t many renderings of MLK depicting him as white.”

The Associated Student Government ordered 8,000 of the buttons for the campus community to wear today. The pins are tri-colored — in gray, black and white — and feature King in mid-speech.

Although a few students noted King’s pale appearance, ASG senators said they weren’t aware of such complaints.

“I haven’t heard any other complaints about (the button’s appearance) but … the cost of the buttons didn’t allow for a very accurate or artistic portrayal of King,” said Andrew Nogal, a Jones Residential College senator and Music freshman.

Tamara Kagel, ASG academic vice president, secured private funding for the pins from Diversity Council Campaign Northwestern. Kagel said that “not a single cent of student money” was spent on the buttons.

Kagel, a Weinberg junior, asked senators Wednesday to wear their pins on MLK Day, emphasizing their expense without giving a precise cost.

The buttons are an ASG innovation in response to criticism that NU doesn’t offer a full day of celebration.

“Everyone could show their support even while carrying out their regular activities,” Kagel said. “Even if there is a professor in a math class who doesn’t want to change any of the academic aspects, he could wear the button and show his support that way.”

But Weinberg sophomore Karen Rowse said she would shy away from wearing her pin.

“I don’t feel like I need to wear it to be supportive of MLK Day,” Rowse said. “I’d feel kind of stupid wearing it. People aren’t going to walk around identifying with each other because of it.”