Acknowledge, Aware, Awaken
You might have wondered the meaning of those colorful bracelets that have been appearing around campus. Those bracelets are part of the current Awareness Week. One of the organizers of this event is senior film student and Hall Director Jack Brinkley, whose idea to create this event came from his interest in making students more aware of safety, health and fitness issues.
“As students there are times we stress ourselves so much because of the amount of work we have to do,” says Brinkley “We decide to work on things at the last minute and therefore we don’t sleep for three days straight. And we are only hurting ourselves, even I am guilty of this.”
Brinkley’s concern is to create a positive campus environment that best supports students and their needs. That is why alongside with Lucy Madeline, Veronica Menne, Dana Simmons, Iman Sterling , Julia Griffen and Laura Nunnelly as their director, Brinkley created a series of events for the week of April 14 that support knowledge, awareness and awakening.
Each day of the Awareness Week was planned to focus on bringing awareness to specific health and safety issues. For example, Monday was Get Active Day, and included workout activities on campus. Tuesday’s Safe-Secure-Sound theme included campus security talks and personal safety tips. On Wednesday, Men’s Health day focused on useful information regarding men’s health was offered. Similarly, Thursday was Women’s Health, which included talks and activities with women’s health information.
Friday, April 18 will be Blood Donations and Take Back the Night, A health fair will be held at noon and Take Back the Night will offer testimonials of people who have suffered sexual violence.
“I am a sexual assault survivor and I was treated poorly two years ago,” says Julia Griffin, president of the Feminist Collective and organizer for the Take Back the Night event. “I made it my mission here to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else”
Griffin created a series of activities that are meant to create awareness on sexual assault and domestic violence that include; student’s artwork, “create your own t-shirt” activities, information pamphlets, Survivor Speak Out at the forum, and keynote speakers. Griffin is trying to help inform on students on how to avoid sexual violence, how to recognize it and how to seek help.
“Sexual assault can happen to anyone, it doesn’t even have to be physically violent. It can be quiet,” says Griffin “ You can be drunk and passed out. Most of the sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Not by some stranger hiding in the bushes.”
Brinkley, Griffin and the rest of the group behind Take Back the Night are getting attention on issues that are usually dealt in silence and they are changing the culture surrounding issues that affect the student body as a whole.
“We want to make this event bigger,” says Brinkley. “Students need to know what to do in real life situations. And it makes me happy to see people engaged in the different activities and, and seeing that students are really interested in safety.”
The week will end on Sunday, April 20 with Drunken Olympics at noon in the Quad, which consists on putting on goggles that distort vision to make a person feel like he’s drunk. This helps to make people realize how they actually feel when they had too much to drink.
At 7 p.m., a Good Body performance will be held in the Forum.
“I hear so many students that complain about there not being things to do in Santa Fe, and I see so many students who are not active,” Brinkley says. “But when I go around there are so many beautiful and inspiring things to see and do. This is what sparked the idea to do the awareness week.”