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Syracuse University’s Hall of Languages goes purple to promote domestic violence awareness
Syracuse University’s historic Hall of Languages will be resplendent in a purple glow through the end of October as part of a statewide effort to raise awareness about domestic violence.
SU’s Physical Plant staff has applied purple gels to four ground spotlights and three pole-mounted spotlights on the north side of the Hall of Languages to bathe the building in purple.
Other prominent landmarks wearing purple this month include the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo and Ontario, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge connecting Dutchess and Ulster counties.
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has invited organizations and individuals across the state to join in a widespread awareness campaign throughout October—National Domestic Violence Awareness Month—by illuminating buildings in purple, painting sidewalks and storefront windows purple, displaying purple balloons, and wearing purple clothing and ribbons, among other activities.
Domestic violence programs in New York use the color purple—representing courage, survival and honor—in creative ways to raise awareness about the prevalence and harm of domestic violence. Each year, law enforcement agencies in the state respond to nearly half a million calls for assistance for domestic violence and more than 15,000 adults and children use emergency shelters.
“Syracuse University’s leadership in bringing awareness to the issues of domestic and sexual violence is inspiring,” says Randi Bregman, executive director of Vera House, Inc. “Purple lights are an important symbol, but what is most important is what the symbol represents—an ongoing commitment to create a peaceful community where safety and respect are the foundation of every relationship. Let us all join Syracuse University in the promise to keep the light shining on these issues.”
“Syracuse University is committed to addressing issues of domestic violence,” says Thomas V. Wolfe, SU senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “Annually we educate our students about healthy relationships through Take Back the Night events and participate in the White Ribbon Campaign to end domestic and sexual violence. Lighting the Hall of Languages in purple illuminates the issue and our commitment to create an environment of safe space both on and off campus.”
The Syracuse Area Domestic & Sexual Violence Coalition is hosting two upcoming community events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
- The 11th Annual Domestic & Sexual Violence Faith Weekend (Oct. 23–25) is a proactive attempt to create awareness about domestic and sexual violence in all local faith communities. Faith leaders are asked to read a brief statement during services, and resources will be available for the abused, abusers and others affected by domestic and sexual violence at various houses of worship throughout Onondaga County.
- The 21st Annual Report to the Community on Domestic & Sexual Violence will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 28, from noon-1:15 p.m. at the Onondaga County Public Library’s Curtin Auditorium, 447 S. Salina St., Syracuse. The report will include local data, survivors’ voices, an update on community services, community accomplishments and goals for the future. Resource materials will be provided.
For more information on these events, visit http://verahouse.org/coalition/coalitioncalendar.htm. For more on Domestic Violence Awareness Month, visit http://www.opdv.state.ny.us/index.html.
About the Hall of Languages
Completed in 1873, the Hall of Languages is one of the most enduring symbols of Syracuse University and the oldest building on campus. It is one of 15 SU buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Hall of Languages stood as the University’s sole structure for 14 years. Constructed under the tenure of SU’s first Chancellor, Alexander Winchell, the Hall of Languages was built of Onondaga limestone in the then-popular Second Empire style for $136,000. Originally, there were to be six more buildings erected in the same style, including the Hall of Science, the Hall of Philosophy, and the Hall of History. A harsh economic recession ended those plans, however, leaving the Hall of Languages as the sole monument to the University’s earliest campus plan.
Home of The College of Arts and Sciences, the building was renovated in 1978 but retained its elegant exterior architecture. The Hall of Languages now provides classrooms that can accommodate 2,235 students and offices for many departments, including English and textual studies, philosophy, and religion.