WWU Students to Maintain Silence for 24 Hours

More than four dozen William Woods University students will be “speechless” for 24 hours during a Silent Weekend planned for March 30-31.

The 53 students, who are all studying American Sign Language interpreting at WWU, will communicate with sign instead of speech during their time at the Rickman Center in Jefferson City. About 20 deaf people will join the students, helping to teach and leading groups.

Friday night the students will be divided into groups with a deaf group leader. They will have ice-breaker skits, make oath of silence and then practice/perform their group skits. Members of the deaf community will also tell stories to the group.

On Saturday there will be five different workshops, with each group attending each workshop. There will also be games and activities to allow the students have fun and practice signing.
“The purpose of Silent Weekend is to provide an opportunity for students at William Woods University to have a fun, safe weekend where they cannot use their voices. They can only use ASL,” said Carolyn Ball, director of the ASL interpreting program at WWU.

“Members of the deaf community gather with the students to practice language skills in an immersion environment that is fun. Lots of games, food and laughter are a great environment for students to practice what they are learning in the classroom.”

Ball has planned a Silent Weekend at every college or university where she has taught, so this is her 20th Silent Weekend and her eighth at William Woods.

“The students love this event and look forward to it every year,” Ball said.