Colourful T-shirts are currently hung on clotheslines in the Fipke foyer and in residences. These T-shirts are all part of the Clothesline Project, an event organized by SVPRO, SARA and Residence Life, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Throughout the week, students participate by decorating T-shirts with supportive messages for the survivors on campus, letting them know that support is available.
Tessa Baatz, director of the SARA campaign said, “the goal of the project is to create a visual representation of the prevalence of [sexual violence] on campus.” The campaign is particularly important because people among the UBCO community are still hesitant to have these discussions. Baatz also emphasizes that “the clothesline is a visual reflection of the concept of “airing it out””.
The Clothesline Project was initially started by an anti-violence organization in the US with the purpose of raising awareness on the statistics of violence in their community that were being overlooked. Baats explained that similarly, “this project is a way to show that it is an issue that affects this campus, it is something that a lot of people … are passionate about addressing and not just sweeping under the rug.” If students missed the chance to show support for the campaign, the Clothesline Project will also be a part of Denim Day later in the month.