This week is Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Part of the week's events is the "Tie a Ribbon" campaign. You have probably all noticed these purple ribbons tied on the chain around main quad. Each ribbon has been tied on by a survivor, or a friend of someone who is a survivor, of sexual violence or coercion. I myself, tied on several ribbons, one for each of my friends that has been raped. I live in Cleland, and I decided to tie these ribbons on the section of the chain that is closest to my dorm's entrance. Each ribbon I tied showed my support and love for these women, and I was happy to see the purple strips waving in the wind every time I left my dorm.
On Tuesday night, my roommate came home from the library to inform me that every ribbon outside the Cleland/Sigma Alpha Epsilon entrance had been heartlessly taken down. I went out to the chain to see for myself, and found that it was true. Someone had taken a scissor, cut the ribbons off and thrown the broken ribbons into the garbage. I have never been more offended, outraged, and completely disgusted by such an act of vandalism. Whatever person or persons took these ribbons down not only denies that sexual violence is a reprehensible crime, but also robs many a survivor of her right to her outrage and to her voice.
I encourage anyone whose ribbons were taken down to put them right back up again, and TO LEAVE THEM UP. Perhaps this time, the vandals will have the respect and sensitivity to let the ribbons stay tied where they belong.