By Elizabeth Quansah and Amy Seligman
Today some women in hot pink want you to notice something other than their T-shirts. Throughout the day, between classes, members of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority are out around campus for RAINN day, which is the third Thursday of every September.
RAINN stands for Rape Abuse Incest National Network and is their local philanthropy. Members are holding cardboard signs around campus with statistics about sexual assault.
So far, they say they are getting a lot of positive feedback and support. “It is great how many students are stopping by to say thank you,” noted Charlotte Schofield, a junior.
This isn’t the first time they’ve done this. Last semester they held signs out while it was snowing, and they called it Standing in Silence to represent survivors who are unable to speak out about their assaults due to fear and stigma.
AST’s biggest event in support of RAINN is their Swing-A-Thon, “Which is held for 36 consecutive hours in April where we swing on our porch swing, usually on Highland Plaza, to attract the attention of students and faculty for raising awareness,” said senior Christine Coutts. AST members said they are excited to be doing multiple events for this cause throughout the year, something they started doing recently.
Members of AST said they noticed that a lot of people would read the sign and then look away, as if they were uncomfortable – but that’s their goal. In order to raise awareness, they hope to infuriate onlookers about the reality that is sexual assault. AST wants to impact students at Fitchburg State, not unlike those who have been impacted by sexual assault – though nowhere near what survivors may be dealing with.
AST would like students to know that if they normally use Amazon.com, they can instead use smile.Amazon.com (using the same account), pick RAINN as their charity, and 0.5% of their purchase will automatically go toward RAINN.
For more information on the cause, visit http://www.RAINN.org