On Monday, Nov. 8, Richmond College associate dean Patrick Benner walked back and forth across the second floor of the Tyler Haynes Commons in a pair of bright red high heels.
"They are red pumps so they draw a lot of attention," Benner said. But the attention was just what he was looking for during "Walk the Commons in Her Shoes," the kickoff event for the White Ribbon Campaign.
Since 2006, Richmond College has sponsored the White Ribbon Campaign, an international movement about raising awareness and ending violence against women.
"It's an informational campaign to spread the word, to spread awareness," Benner said.
This year, Richmond College has teamed up with the athletic department to help spread awareness to different areas of campus.
"Linking it to men's sports gets to a different student population," Benner said. "A lot of students go and watch the basketball games or football games and to see it there in a group showing their support is great."
For the men's basketball home opener Friday, Nov. 12, players will wear special white ribbon campaign warm-ups and the players and coaches will wear white ribbons throughout the evening.
In addition to the event in the Commons, there will also be the March of Men Thursday, Nov. 11 — a silent walk from the Whitehurst breezeway, around Westhampton Lake and ending on Boatwright Hill.
"It's more of a silent candlelight walk with reflections in the beginning and reflections at the end," Benner said.
Volunteers have also been in the Commons encouraging Richmond College students to sign a pledge to "never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls," according to the campaign website.
Suren Daryanani, president of the Richmond College Student Government Association (RCSGA), has signed the pledge this year and said the campaign was a worthy initiative.
"In light of the safety issues on campus, this initiative is meaningful to the RCSGA," Daryanani said, "and we will continue to work hard on ensuring a safe campus community."
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Last year, more than 500 men in the university community signed the pledge poster, Benner said. But this year he said he hoped to see more signatures.
"It would be great to go over 550 for the first time," Benner said. "It seems completely easy to do when there's 1,400 men here on campus — just students."
The signed pledge posters will be on display in the Whitehurst breezeway throughout the day Friday, Nov. 12.
Contact staff writer Kate MacDonnell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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