Students at Glasgow Kelvin College have become the first Scottish College to achieve their initial target of 500 Pledges for the White Ribbon Scotland Campaign for Men Working To End Violence Against Women (VAW).
From September of this 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 510 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. Bringing the message into the College, she arranged training for 3 students and 3 staff members to help her deliver talks, presentations and engagement sessions across the campuses. Arlene has worked tirelessly to achieve the target and says,
“I’m delighted that we’ve signed up so many people to the campaign and hit our target, especially as it coincided with the 16 Days of Action for Violence Against Women. The students and staff involved have worked very hard so far to engage across the College. However, hitting this target doesn’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 has become our first White Ribbon Status College in Scotland. Spreading the campaign message so wide is very much down to the hard work of our trained volunteers, of which Arlene is one, and it’s important that we recognise that.
“Each signatory to the Pledge is another voice added to the campaign and to achieve 500 signatories is remarkable, especially when you consider that our initial target for all of Glasgow City was 1,000.
We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Glasgow Kelvin College to evaluate and develop the way forward for the Campaign and to recognise the achievement at a future event where we will issue the College with their White Ribbon Status Award. Our thanks go to all those involved; staff, students and the Student’s Association”.