‘You are not alone’


Junior Maria McCray, psychology and Spanish major, pinned a ribbon on which she wrote “Believe in yourself” among many others in support of sexual assault victims.

A triangle of teal ribbons flapped in the wind on the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall on Monday, catching the eyes of many passing students.

“I didn’t really know what it was about,” sophomore nursing major Jenna Horton said, “but I saw the colors then went up and asked about it.”

Men for Social Change, a club that aims to fight toxic masculinity and promote awareness for sexual assault, is putting on its Teal Ribbon Event this week in honor of April being Sexual Assault

Awareness Month.

Vice President Jackson Ferderer said he spent most of his day with other members out on the mall working to make the event a success. The club members did not expect the high turnout they had throughout the day, he said.

“Some people are really passionate about this, and it’s not something they are really allowed to talk about a lot,” Ferderer said. “This is a great way for them to actually talk about it.”

During the event, club members hung yarn between three lamp-posts and participants were encouraged to pin their teal ribbon to it. Each participant wrote a message to community members suffering from sexual assault on their ribbon. Participants who posted a picture of their ribbon to social media received a free t-shirt from Men for Social Change.

Ferderer said participants wrote anything they believed would get their message across.

“A lot of people write ‘I love you’,” he said. “Some people write ‘I believe you,’ ‘I support you.’ We have a few people writing about statistics. People even write that they are survivors.”

Horton wrote, “You are strong. You are beautiful. You are not alone,” to show her support.

“I think sexual assault awareness is something that is very important,” she said. “So I really wanted to participate.”

Junior psychology and Spanish major Maria McCray said she wrote, “Believe in yourself,” to support anyone who is experiencing the aftermath of sexual assault personally and feels like they can’t move on.

“I think everyone should know about it,” McCray said. “I think this is a good way to show people we care about them even though times are hard for them.”

Sophomore and general studies major Dallas Dala said he wrote “I care” on his ribbon.

“I care about what is being shared here,” Dala said, “because we live with this situation all the time, everywhere.”

Ferderer said they plan to come back out on Wednesday and Friday.