While I know this was an opinion article, I just wanted to add a couple of comments on behalf of Campus Recreation.
I initiated the “Think PINK Fridays” at Campus Rec, as it relates to my field of study and Campus Recreation was a willing collaborator. I totally understand and agree with the larger perspective of this article by which USF and Moffitt Cancer Center could partner together to provide a full Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. However, in reading this article, there are some items that should have been researched first before it went to print.
“Think PINK Fridays” with Campus Recreation are much more than just “wearing pink T-shirts.” I am so sorry that you associate this hashtag/slogan with the “Mean Girls” movie, because it is apparent that if your research had been correct, you would know what it actually means.
In addition to the pink T-shirts, which were purchased individually and were not funded by Campus Recreation, all of our student staff and professional staff are wearing breast cancer bracelets that say things such as: Hope, faith, survivor or strength. Student and professional staff are also wearing pink ribbon-pins throughout the entire month of October, which were all handmade by our own staff.
This year, we are incorporating even more educational information to provide to anyone who comes by Campus Recreation.
During “Think PINK Fridays,” we have an information table set up that includes flyers, brochures, pamphlets and other materials to provide education on prevention, early detection, screening and more. We contacted the American Cancer Society and the HIS Breast Cancer Awareness organization and they provided us with more than 1,000 different materials to hand out. We have also collaborated with the Maternal and Child Health Student Organization (MCHSO), where members have volunteered their time to help pass out this information and educate anyone who comes into the facility. We have also purchased items such as BCA lollipops, bracelets and stickers to pass out to anyone who comes by the table.
We also have an entire section of the table designated for information on breast cancer in males. So far, we have found that 13 percent of students who took our “Think PINK Fridays” survey did not know that males could get breast cancer. Luckily, we are able to provide those males with resources just for them.
In addition to everything I have mentioned so far, throughout the entire month, we are encouraging anyone who comes by Campus Recreation to dedicate a ribbon in honor or in memory of a loved one.
We have even received requests to fill out ribbons with words of encouragement for those fighting breast cancer.
… Our goal at Campus Recreation with this initiative is to remember the losses, celebrate the victories and recognize the bravery and courage that each individual exhibits as they go through this journey. We also want to increase overall awareness and educate anyone and everyone who walks through our doors. So far, we are very pleased with this campaign and will continue to educate, learn and celebrate.
Amy Phillips is a Public Health graduate student and a student office assistant at the Campus Recreation Center.