Students and campus visitors clasped hands with one another, forming a 286-person chain that weaved through the fourth floor of the Losee Center Friday, Oct. 28.
The Statue of Responsibility grass-roots movement, (www.sorfoundation.org) inspired by the words of Viktor Frankl, began in 1997 with the purpose of creating a symbol representing the responsibility that comes along with the liberty enjoyed in this country. The movement came to UVU to increase awareness and get students involved.
The campus event, in order to invite attention, was accented by an attempt to break a world record. The human chain formed by the students and visitors Friday, including many students from Rockwell Charter High School in Eagle Mountain, was the longest of its kind ever formed, according to Guinness World Records, exceeding the previous record by over 30 people.
The significance of this chain was that each person was connected to the next by a unique clasping of the hands, with each person clutching the wrists of the people on each side of them. This type of clasp is the main focus of the Statue of Responsibility.
The statue is a literal depiction of two hands clasping, and is meant to epitomize and personalize the responsibility that must go hand in hand with liberty, represented by the Statue of Liberty. After the 300-foot Statue of Responsibility is built, at a to-be-determined location on the west coast, it will bookend the United States along with Lady Liberty as a constant reminder, as the foundation explains, that “only by balancing liberty with responsibility can freedom be sustained.”
There will be a 15-foot replica of the monumental statue in the Losee Center to solidify UVU’s connection with the project. Gary Lee Price, the Utah sculptor commissioned on the project and shown in the photos above, has had ties with UVU in the past, and wanted to maintain involvement with the university community.
“What I really love about this is the interaction with the students,” Price said.
The completion of phase one of the five-phase project, after about 14 years of work, was celebrated when Governor Gary Herbert signed HCR 16, giving Utah the title of “Birth Place of the Statue of Responsibility.”
Phase two will include a 50-state educational “Freedom Tour” as well as an anticipated $8 million step closer to the price tag of the project, which is estimated to be close to $300 million.
By Jeff Jacobsen – Online Content Manager
Photos courtesy of Rockwell Charter High School