Friday, 15 December 2017 03:44

A stand to protect women against violence with a campaign of their own

Written by  Demi Knight
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Caitlin McPhee (left) and Kate Potts (right) students and Sexual Violence Support Ambassadors at the Orange you gonna stop for an Orange Campaign at the University of Lethbridge on Dec. 6 to help raise awareness and honour victims of gender-based violence. Caitlin McPhee (left) and Kate Potts (right) students and Sexual Violence Support Ambassadors at the Orange you gonna stop for an Orange Campaign at the University of Lethbridge on Dec. 6 to help raise awareness and honour victims of gender-based violence. Photo by Whitney Balog

The University of Lethbridge joined the international movement to create awareness of gender-based violence this December with their ‘Orange You Gonna Stop for an Orange?’ campaign.


As part of the ‘Sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence’ movement, On Dec. 6, (which is known as the ational day of remembrance and action on violence against women), volunteer students set up stations throughout the institution where they handed out oranges and shared sixteen ways everyone can help end violence against women.
With strong values to participate in this sixteen-day long campaign, the university chose to support the movement by hosting this event on the day that marks the anniversary of the fourteen young women who were murdered at l’École Polytechique de Montréal in 1989, to give students an opportunity to learn about the history of why this movement is needed as well as paying honour to the victims of one of these horrific gender-based crimes.
“We as a group have decided to participate in the sixteen days of activism, by picking just one day on Dec. 6 which is the national day of remembrance and put the two together, to honour the day as well as spread awareness of the movement,” said student Kate Potts who was an event volunteer.
With the university narrowing in on providing information to students on the movement of ending violence against women, volunteer students set up three locations throughout the institution and handed out oranges to interested faculty and students, each of which had a slip on it that listed one of sixteen ways to help the cause.
“I think women in particular are making so many strides towards equality, and a lot of times the violence and adversity women face gets swept under the rug,” added Potts on why movements like these are necessary in today's society.
“It’s not until you talk about it that you realize how real it is. I know it’s constantly getting better, but it’s still so important to recognize where this movement came from and that it is still getting glossed over a lot of the time.”
With the event being well-received by many students and faculty alike, Potts said that the fourteen volunteers throughout the day handed out a total of thirty-five, five-pound boxes of oranges in total.
“It was so well received,” said Potts, “Many students stopped by to talk to us about what we were doing, and a lot of faculty members who were alive when the murders happened thirty years ago, thanked us for honouring those women.”
As well as handing out oranges and slips on ways to prevent violence against women, the stations were also set up with the names and biographies of the fourteen women murdered on the Montreal campus in 1989, along with textbooks that showed they were students and a red rose too.
“I think one of the biggest reasons is to help raise awareness, but it’s also important to bring back this day of remembrance, and bring to light that even though it was almost thirty years ago, in reality it’s not that long ago and it really happened, and we wanted to bring that reality home,” said Potts.
“A lot of students were taken aback by it and was almost shocked because they didn’t really know about it, but it holds a lot of value and meaning within society and to students definitely.”
 With the ’16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ movement beginning on the international day of violence against women, (Nov. 25) and ending on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, the University took a day to reflect on history and advocate for the future with their event. However, with advocating also came the task of creating a profile for students to learn all the ways that they can get involved and help the cause. The entire sixteen ways to help end violence against women that were given out one by one on the oranges throughout the day, as well as information on the movement as a whole can also be found online through the university’s website at http://www.uleth.ca/sexual-violence/awareness-activities.

Read 226 times Last modified on Friday, 15 December 2017 05:13

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