Clothesline Project laying out the issues

The Clothesline Project will be coming back to campus and T-shirts will be displayed the week of March 24.

Painting T-shirts began March 4 and 6 at the Women’s Resource Center. It also continued after spring break with painting occurring March 18 at the WRC and March 19 at “After Hours.”

During March 24-30, T-shirts will be hung all over campus including in front of Kresge, College Hall, the quad by Smith Chapel, inside Brenton Student Center, and possibly in the Circle of Knowledge and between Mary Berry and Dunn Library.

The project came to campus last year when junior Josie Rundlett was doing a project for Kedron Bardwell’s Public Policy class. The idea was to take a social issue and create a plan for campuswide education.

“People’s response was really good,” Rundlett said. “It became therapeutic for some and it helped establish a conversation on the topic. It’s important that it was anonymous and the sheer volume of it showed that people really cared.”

The Clothesline Project began in 1991 in Cape Cod, Fla. The idea was to memorialize women, through the decoration of the T-shirts, who had died from domestic violence.

“I brought it back this year to get more people involved and aware of what is going on,” Rundlett said. “I hope this project continues on campus for years after I graduate. It’s important to have good conversations about sexual assault and other issues.”

Funding for the project last year was partially by Rundlett and the Lilly Initiative. Donations of T-shirts were also from Rundlett’s family and students on campus.

“I think it’s just a great way to continue conversation with the different activities and it shows different ways the Simpson community can show support,” senior Alison Jepsen said.

Others agree with Jepsen and think it’s very important to have this project help bring about awareness.

“It’s something you can see,” senior Laura Hersom said. “Normally violence is put off and you never see the violence and the people who have been affected by it. People need to be more aware especially for those who can’t speak out about it.”

Others agree and believe it’s important for the education process.

“Most people aren’t aware of what victims go through,” sophomore Miranda Knake said. “I think it should be part of the education process and should be important for all to understand what happens.”

Rundlett hopes the Clothesline Project will help people see what’s happening to women.

“Women are treated differently because they are women and they are objectified,” Rundlett said. “I hope it’s not a huge issue on campus but I know it’s easy to ignore the violence when you don’t see it.”