Student Leaders Kick Off White Ribbon Campaign at March 6 Men’s Basketball Game

whiteribbonOn Wednesday, March 6, Syracuse University’s Division of Student Affairs begins its on-campus efforts to support the 19th annual Vera House White Ribbon Campaign. Student committee chairs Ashlee Newman and Paul Ang are kicking off the campaign at the men’s basketball game versus DePaul in the Carrier Dome. Otto and members of the Spirit Squad will be wearing white ribbons and bracelets in support of the campaign. There will also be information, bracelets, ribbons and pins available in the backcourt for all SU fans in attendance to support Vera House and to learn more about domestic and sexual violence.

Vera House’s 2013 White Ribbon Campaign officially runs from April 12-21. The goals of the campaign on campus are to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence; to educate the SU community about domestic and sexual violence and resources; and to raise funds for programs at Vera House. SU’s campaign will continue throughout the month of April.

‪Student co-chairs Newman and Ang are deeply committed to the campaign and this important work in the community. ‬‬

“My family has had its own experience with domestic violence, when my cousin Heather Newman was murdered last year by her abusive husband. Following that tragedy, I was motivated to make a difference,” says Newman, sophomore political science and policy studies major. “I have put a lot of effort into advocacy and legislative changes in my home state of New Jersey, but a key component to domestic violence prevention is knowledge and awareness. I am a believer in the statement that when you have a more knowledgeable society, one that is comfortable and aware of such a topic, a difference can be made. That is why I decided to get involved in the White Ribbon Campaign, because it represents what I believe in.”

The campaign will continue to have a presence on campus following the game through the support of student organizations, including Student Association and A Men's Issue, as well as The Advocacy Center and Take Back The Night. Members of the campus community will have opportunities to contribute by purchasing bracelets, pins or ribbons from various campus cafes, the SU Bookstore, and in residence and dining halls. They can also be ordered through the Student Affairs Dean’s Office by emailing ddowdall@syr.edu.

“I believe in the White Ribbon Campaign because issues of domestic and sexual violence are a men's issue,” says Ang, second-year master's student in engineering at SUNY-ESF. “I am involved because men need to see other men taking an active role in the effort to end domestic and sexual violence.”

According to Vera House, females between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of domestic violence. In 2010, Vera House sheltered 474 women, children and men; provided youth counseling services to 380 children; taught 446 men in the domestic violence education and accountability program; and reached 16,047 people through their school-based, community and professional education programs. Vera House continues to be the primary resource in Onondaga County for people experiencing domestic and sexual violence.

Wearing a white ribbon or wristband during this campaign period makes an important statement that you will not condone, support or commit domestic or sexual violence.

Vera House, Inc., aims to end all domestic and sexual violence, to assist families in crisis, to support those affected by domestic and sexual violence to live safe, self-sufficient lives, to empower women and children and to promote a culture of equality and respect in all relationships.