Students party for Planned Parenthood

by Ross Cristantiello / Beacon Staff • February 16, 2017

When President Trump was elected in November, most of Emerson was quiet. The mix of confusion, anger, and sadness brought a somber silence that permeated campus. However, it didn’t last long.

As the new semester began and Trump took office, students combated some of Trump’s proposed changes. Chief among these concerns is the defunding of Planned Parenthood. In January, many took to the Boston Common to make their voices heard in support of women’s rights. This past weekend, Lorenzo Rossi and his friends took a different approach—they threw a party.

Rossi, a junior visual and media arts major, and his three roommates hosted an event at their East Boston apartment Saturday night to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. For a $5 fee at the door, over 100 partygoers were treated to refreshments, an art installation, and live music. In addition to the cover charge, the hosts collected donations inside the party, and sold art pieces to raise even more. By the end of the night, Rossi and his friends raised $624.

“This sense of community is the backbone of any sort of social activism,” Rossi said.

It wasn’t the first time Rossi hosted an event for the community. At the beginning of last semester, Rossi wanted to promote live music in the Emerson community. He realized his apartment could be the perfect venue.

For Halloween, he invited people over for a party that was half haunted house and half concert. After the success of that night, Rossi and his roommates planned another event for Valentine’s Day. Trump’s election, however, forced them to refocus.

“A lot has changed in America since Halloween,” Rossi said. “We can’t get lulled into a sense of complacency.”

Seven live musical acts played, including hip-hop artist Justice Harrison, a junior visual and media arts major. When Rossi approached him to perform at the party, Harrison was immediately on board.

“It’s a hard thing living off-campus and finding performing spaces,” Harrison said. “I was happy just to play a show and ecstatic to learn that the money was going to a good cause.”

With the success of this fundraiser, Rossi is planning to host more events. However, he doesn’t have any definite plans yet.

“It was too good of a response to ignore.” Rossi said.