On Tuesday 6 December, the Social Justice and Equity Committee (SJEC) hosted an Orange Ribbon March during lunch. Over 20 people participated in the march, which began in the galleria, proceeded to the second and third floors, and finished in the cafeteria. Marchers wore orange ribbons and held orange signs. To conclude the event, the participants delivered a speech about violence against women on the cafeteria’s stage.
“Gender based violence is a prevalent issue, and must be addressed,” said Raluca Gondor during the speech.
The march was also hosted with the purpose of commemorating the women who lost their lives in the Montreal Massacre. The Massacre happened at École Polytechnique on 6 December 1989, when 25 year old Marc Lépine killed 14 female engineering students. He claimed that he was “fighting feminism” and called the women “a bunch of feminists.”
The Orange Ribbon March was a part of SJEC’s the Orange Ribbon Campaign. The committee has been selling orange ribbons for 50 cents each since 28 November, and many students throughout the school have been seen displaying them on their shirts and backpacks. An estimated $90 has been raised through the sales so far. The ribbons will continue to be sold throughout the month of December, and hopefully more money will be collected to donate to the cause.
SJEC chose orange for the campaign’s colour to coordinate with the United Nations’ Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign. The United Nations’ campaign colour for 2016 is orange, because it is an optimistic color that represents a bright future: one that is free from violence against women and girls.
When asked what SJEC hoped to achieve through the sales of ribbons and the march, Social Justice and Equity Convenor Lisa Wang said, “We hope to raise awareness for gender-based violence and show that students care.”