Students and staff at Glasgow Kelvin College were delighted to celebrate the award of White Ribbon status as the first college in Scotland to achieve this honour.
Friends, colleagues, local elected members and stakeholders attended the lively event at the College’s Springburn campus to witness the presentation of the plaque by White Ribbon Scotland for the sterling work done by students and staff in spreading the message and inviting people to sign the pledge “I pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms”.
White Ribbon Scotland campaigns against Male Violence Against Women and 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. This campaign encourages men to speak out and sign up to the pledge.
Since last September, students and staff have become involved as Volunteer Speakers for the campaign to encourage people in the College, the community and local schools to sign up to the pledge. By December, they had achieved their target of 500 and continue to work hard, bringing their current total to an impressive 810… and counting!
The commitment of Learner Engagement Officer, Arlene Sweeney, and the Students’ Association Equality & Diversity Officer, Shaun McLaughlin, have been instrumental in the success of the campaign.
“The campaign has had a massive impact”, says Shaun. “It’s allowed male students a voice in opposing violence against women. When we’re not part of the debate then the fear is that people may think we accept it as a given. But that’s not the case. I think many students have been relieved to be able to be part of this. And for others, it’s been a bit of a learning curve, recognising the behaviours which are at the milder end of the continuum. We’ve had to approach it very sensitively.
Our students can not only receive help but also offer that help to others in the wider community. We’ve still got a lot of work to do but we’re determined to keep getting people signing up to the pledge. We’re delighted and honoured to have been involved in this campaign.”
Anne Garvie, White Ribbon Scotland Trustee, said;
“Glasgow Kelvin College is to be congratulated on an outstanding commitment to addressing issues of male violence against women. Their collaboration with the White Ribbon Scotland campaign has without doubt achieved positive outcomes for enhanced respectful relationships and the future of students throughout the college.”
Amid the presentations from the Board, managers, staff, students and the White Ribbon Campaign itself through Davy Thomson, interim Campaign Co-ordinator, a prize was also presented to Georgia Brown, NC Art & Design student, winner of the White Ribbon Logo Design competition at the College.
Chair of the Board of Management, Irving Hodgson, added his own congratulations to the students;
“Glasgow Kelvin College is the first college to be awarded White Ribbon Scotland status. This is due in no small part to the very hard work of our committed students and staff and to the support of the White Ribbon Scotland organisation.
Through White Ribbon Scotland, men now have an opportunity to raise their voice in addressing male violence against women and the College is pleased and privileged to play a part in this.”
Sign up to the pledge by following the link: http://www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk/glasgow-kelvin-college