Glasgow Kelvin College Student Association’s highly successful partnership initiative with White Ribbon Scotland has been shortlisted for two separate Student Campaign Awards in the coming week.
Students are delighted that their White Ribbon Scotland campaign has been declared a finalist in the Campaign category for NUS Scotland Awards and in the Equality & Diversity category in the SPARQS (Student Partnership in Quality Scotland) Awards.
The White Ribbon Scotland Campaign supports Men Working To End Violence Against Women (VAW).
From September of last year students and staff have been working hard to achieve White Ribbon status in recognition of their efforts to involve more men in addressing VAW. They have now burst their target by encouraging 600 (the initial target was 500) people to commit and the work continues to allow more students and staff to express their opposition to Violence Against Women by taking the White Ribbon Scotland pledge. (http://www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk/makepledge )
White Ribbon Scotland make their aims clear. The majority of men in Scotland are not violent towards women. However, historically it has been seen as the preserve of women’s organisations to campaign against the issue.
The campaign encourages men to speak out and sign up to the pledge, “I pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms”.
Glasgow Kelvin College’s Learner Engagement Officer, Arlene Sweeney, is one of 200 trained volunteer Speakers in Scotland. Arlene has worked tirelessly to achieve the White Ribbon Scotland target and says,
“I’m delighted that the campaign has received such prestigious recognition from each of these national organisations. I am particularly pleased for our students who have worked very hard so far to engage across the College. However, hitting this target didn’t signal the end of our campaign. We have almost 16,000 students so there’s lots of work still to do to promote the message and get people fully behind the aims of White Ribbon Scotland!”
Students have also been involved in creating a Glasgow Kelvin College White Ribbon logo to promote the campaign further. The College’s Faculty of Business & Creative Industries students are already busy making the campaign the focus of their creative coursework in the coming months and embedding the White Ribbon message in their activities. It forms a key part of the College’s equalities agenda.
Davy Thompson, White Ribbon Scotland Campaign Interim Co-ordinator, has spent some time at the College to support the development of the campaign. He says.
“It’s fantastic that Glasgow Kelvin and White Ribbon Scotland have reached the finals of each of these Award competitions. The success of the campaign is very much down to the hard work of our trained volunteers and it’s important that we recognise that.
The aim of the White Ribbon Scotland Campaign is to have men speak out about violence against women and be aware of what they can do to help bring it to an end. The first step is often simply talking about it so that women know they have support and men know that their friends, family and colleagues oppose it. Taking positive action and actively spreading the Campaign among the learners and staff of Glasgow Kelvin College has made this aim a reality for a large number of people and those who have been involved have earned the College its White Ribbon Status.”