Pink shirts are not enough from institution level

On October 17, 2013


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women and one in every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer, according to research from the Moffitt Cancer Center.

But considering the university’s connection with Moffitt, USF, from an institutional standpoint, has done little of impact to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Many individual organizations have undertaken the cause.

The Zeta Tau Alpha sorority’s collection of Yoplait yogurt tops, which equate to a 10 cents donation per top, is a great service project to not only promote breast cancer awareness, but to also donate to the cause.

Moffitt has several events, such as Racing for the Pink Party, a program to encourage women to get mammograms, and restaurant fundraisers for donations to Moffitt research.

During the month of October, USF athletes have worn pink athletic gear and set up a donation website to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

But if a student were searching for an event or service project related to breast cancer awareness, the only thing being promoted on USF’s main websites would be wearing pink on Fridays. USF Wellness has been promoting the hashtag #thinkPINKfriday to trend among students wearing pink on Fridays in support of breast cancer awareness.

“Think pink Friday” sounds less like “I’m wearing pink to support breast cancer awareness” and more like the famous “Mean Girls” quote, “On Wednesdays, we wear pink,” making it seem more of a superficial trend than raising actual awareness.

Unfortunately, these smaller organizations can only do so much because they don’t have the same resources as major parts of the university such as USF Wellness.

If the university or larger campus entities, such as USF Wellness, paired with individual organizations to provide access to resources, such as the university’s mass email capability, university-wide advertising and general support, it could create a stronger and more effective impact.

Those showing support in small ways, such as through wearing pink on Friday, should still do so but it seems that a university connected to the Moffitt Cancer Center should strive for a much greater impact for breast cancer awareness other than just wearing pink.  

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