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Pink Shirt Day rallies students against bullying

Pink t-shirts and wristbands have been on sale in the weeks leading up to the event and will be for sale in Alumni Hall until 4:00 p.m. as well as information and resources about bullying in post secondary institutions. Following that, Sheldon Kennedy will be speaking in B101 about his experiences with bullying while in the NHL.

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By Jessica Wind (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: February 27, 2013

Bullying has been a hot topic of conversation in the last few months, but before the influx of anti-bullying campaigns that have swept the country, there was Pink Shirt Day .

Today, Wednesday February 27, UFV is participating in the awareness day as part of the sixth annual international anti-bullying campaign.

Pink t-shirts and wristbands have been on sale in the weeks leading up to the event and will be for sale in Alumni Hall until 4:00 p.m. as well as information and resources about bullying in post secondary institutions. Following that, Sheldon Kennedy will be speaking in B101 about his experiences with bullying while in the NHL.

There will also be a prize draw for anyone that has previously purchased Pink Shirt Day merchandise.

Third-year criminology students Brittany Leith and Amrita Jandu have coordinated the anti-bullying initiative on campus as part of their practicum with UFV’s Centre for Safe Schools and Communities.

Leith explained how pink has become the colour to represent the fight against bullying.

“It started with one male who wore a pink shirt to class one day and got bullied for wearing that colour,” she said. “It started off with one person and now involves thousands.”

Jandu and Leith decided to coordinate the event on UFV campus as a way to raise awareness about bullying in post-secondary institutions and the resources available to students. Jandu explained that, while their motivation comes from a personal place, bullying is something everyone has experienced.

“We both have been bullied in the past, so it was something that we were both really passionate about being a part of,” she said. “Everyone can relate to this idea. I think being bullied is a lot more common than not being bullied.”

A lot of the time, anti-bullying campaigns focus on the situations that occur among children and teenagers, but with the abundance of group work and different social situations at the post secondary level, indirect forms of bullying occur exceedingly often.

“You see a lot of social exclusion as well,” Jandu explained. “We want to address all different forms of bullying whether its sexual minority students or international students.”

They hope to extend their reach today with awareness on the kinds of bullying that happens at a post-secondary level, where people can go to seek help, and the positive stories that have come out of people standing up against bullying.

The PRIDE network, in conjunction with the Pink Shirt Day campaign, has put together a Pledge of Pink wall. Students are encouraged to share stories inspiration where they have overcome bullying or intervened and saved someone else from being bullied.

“We want to enhance the positive messages that come with bullying instead of focusing on the negative aspect of it,” explained Jandu.

After today, the wall will remain on display as well as the girls will be printing bullying stories and placing them on the floor so people can walk on them.

“We’re asking people if you’ve been bullied to share your stories so people can stomp out bullying,” Leith concluded.

If you want to support the Pink Shirt Day campaign, learn more about available resources to combat bullying or contribute a story to be posted on the wall or stomped out, stop by Alumni Hall (outside Admissions and Records) before 4 p.m. today.

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