Student projects raise issue of violence against women

March is Women’s History Month, and two students are doing their part to ensure the fight to end violence against women is recognized.

Sophomore Josie Rundlett and senior Jeff Goodell are both bringing projects to campus that will involve and educate students in the fight to end violence.

Goodell is bringing the “Real Men Don’t Rape” campaign to campus as part of his senior project to fulfill his minor in women’s studies. He chose this campaign after doing a smaller version of it first semester for another class.

Beginning March 19, Goodell will put up a “REAL MEN DON’T RAPE” banner in the BSC hoping every male on campus will sign. Those that sign the banner will then receive a pledge card that says, “I pledge to not act in a violent way toward women and will intervene if I see violence taking place.”

“I want to get all males on this campus involved, students as well as faculty,” Goodell said. “As men we need to stand up and say we aren’t going to tolerate these actions.”

Sophomore Josie Rundlett has directed her attention to “The Clothesline Project.” Rundlett is doing her project for a citizenship and social justice class taught by Kedron Bardwell, associate professor of political science.

Bardwell hopes the class becomes a training ground for leadership.

“We don’t give students enough opportunity to put their feet to the fire and find whether or not they have the skills necessary to be a leader,” Bardwell said. “If they don’t have those skills, they can learn those skills by doing.”

The Clothesline Project originally started in 1990 in Cape Cod as a memorial to women who died as a result of domestic violence. Rundlett got the idea from a project done at Cornell College.

“The Clothesline Project” is a silent demonstration that has participants design a t-shirt in protest of violence, be it domestic, assault or rape. Rundlett will then hang the t-shirts in the BSC through the week of March 19.

Rundlett currently has 16 shirts designed by students and hopes to get at least 40. The last t-shirt design meeting will be held tonight, March 8, at 6 p.m. at the Political Science House.

“The project has two goals,” Rundlett said. “The first is to show that people support the fight against violence, and the second is to show women who have been victims that they are not alone and that it’s all right to stand up and speak out against the issue.”

Both Goodell and Rundlett agree that acts of violence such as rape are something everyone should be concerned with, including men.

“Men don’t really think about rape because it is not usually something that happens to them,” Goodell said. “I want them to think about their mom, or sister or friend and how they’d feel if they were raped.”

Both Goodell and Rundlett’s projects will be aligned with other projects during Women’s History Month, such as “The Vagina Monologues,” the End the ‘Isms’ March and the Take Back the Night program.

“Events like these are extremely important for the Simpson community because it shows our commitment to rights and equality is not just rhetorical,” said senior Eric Adams, student body president. “The student population has an invested interest and is willing to put in hard work to raise the awareness needed for social change.”