For Cameron Douglas, Monday will not just be another day off from school. For Douglas and his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, it will be a day to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and they will be remembering him by inviting students and faculty to take part in a candlelit vigil march through campus.
The march begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Thomas Hall, where students will gather to receive their candles. Students will then walk through campus, ending in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union shortly after.
Douglas, the president of Alpha Phi Alpha, said this is a tradition that spreads to other chapters in other schools, but at Eastern it has been taking place for what he guesses to be around 20 or 30 years.
“It’s a remembrance of everything he was doing,” Douglas said.
He added during the march there would be a picture of King held up in the front.
“Just like when (King) would coordinate his walks through Birmingham and things like that, he always used to be at the forefront of them,” Douglas said.
By having the picture of King out front, Douglas said it would help maintain the exposure King gave whenever he marched.
“We want to make sure his legacy stays alive,” he added.
Douglas said after the walk concludes, there will be speeches given reminding those in attendance about the importance of King and his life.
Douglas said usually the walk brings in about 80 people each year, and they march no matter what the weather is like.
“We don’t care if it’s blizzard, snow, rain or anything. We’ll put tops on the candles, or have umbrellas for everybody,” he said.
Douglas said it takes roughly six weeks to make sure an event like the vigil march is planned properly.
The most important part comes not from making sure the venues are booked, but instead reaching out to different people.
“You want to make sure people know why they’re coming,” he said.
Before the march begins, Douglas said his fraternity will be hosting a lunch boxing event to send food to Haiti.
The food benefit begins at 11 a.m. Monday in the University Ballroom of the Union.
For Douglas, the march is exactly what it is – a remembrance, an honoring of a man and his life.
“It’s all about his legacy,” he said.
Bob Galuski can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]