Classic Signals: Students unite against violence

By Elise Schoening
Features Editor

Every week, Features Editor Elise Schoening hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

This week, the College hosted its first annual Break the Silence Monologue. The event worked to  combat the stigma domestic violence victims face far too often. Earlier this month, the College’s Title IX office held a campus-wide campaign to raise awareness for students’ rights to safety. But the College’s efforts to curtail violence date back to 2001, when two professors brought the White Ribbon Campaign to campus.

With so many organizations on campus, it is hard to tell one apart from the other.

The White Ribbon Campaign is a movement for men to actively participate in ending violence against women.

Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit violence against women.

It is also a pledge to not condone acts of violence or make excuses for those who do commit acts of violence.

The campaign began in Canada in 1991, when a group of men decided they needed to urge men to speak out against violence against women.

This group came together over the outrage a Toronto shooting where a man targeted only women.

The campaign is being organized at the College by John Landreau and Michael Robertson, professors who teach courses in the women and gender studies department.

Robertson said that “20 to 40 percent of all college women are a victim of sexual assault.” He asserts that the statistic proves that every man on campus has a personal friend who has been a victim of violence by men.

As a result, he believes that ever man on campus should support the campaign to make a positive step toward ending violence.

According to Landreau, many countries have taken part in the campaign’s international movement. Landreau feels this campaign will work for “men who are concerned and want to do something rather than male-bash.”

Robertson feels that, “most men aren’t violent. This campaign is a way for the silent majority to make a difference.” That difference can help sisters, friends and girlfriends against the violence of a small majority of men.

The campaign is not exclusively for men. Women can also take a part.

Many chapters become successful because women encourage their boyfriends or brothers to show support.