Think Pink. That’s what the advertisements plastered around the residence halls at California State University, Fullerton state each year during the month of October. The Housing & Residence Life staff at CSUF celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a very unique manner.
A few years ago, we realized that many of our Resident Advisors were huge fans of pink and decided to host a Pink-Off during October, since pink is the official color of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. Since it is in the middle, we chose the third week of the month. From Monday to Friday of the chosen week, participating RA’s agree to wear as much pink gear as they can muster up, while of course taking care to remain fashionable without crossing into garish. Residents and other RA’s who are not participating can vote at the RA Office for their favorite fashionable pink RA of the day.
The professional staff joins in to show their support as well and we often get inquiries from the students who find it strange that everyone is wearing the same color. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of this very important issue. In 2013 alone, approximately 300,000 in the United States alone were diagnosed with breast cancer and roughly 40,000 will die from the disease. The statistics are staggering and many of our residents have family members who have been affected by this disease. They are pleasantly surprised to see us paying attention and attempting to do out part in raising awareness and finding a cure.
Ballots are counted at the end of each weekday, as a prize is given to a winner for each day, and also to a winner for the entire week. The winners for each day receive a small item and honorable mention as a true contender. The winner of the entire week receives a large gift basket, a pink crown, and the Title of King/Queen of Pink for the remainder of the year. It’s become quite an honor and a coveted spot.
All the prizes are items which, when purchased, will share all or a portion of the proceeds to Breast Cancer research. Examples of prizes have included beach towels, M&M’s, massaging slippers, fleece throws, water bottles, and robes. With more companies catching on that the purchase of pink items increase tremendously during October, many more common items are being manufactured in the color. The staff looks forward to it each year with a renewed spirit of friendly competition. It has proven to be a valuable way in which to instill teambuilding and the benefits of charitable giving to our staff and residents. We have been doing this for three years now and have instituted this event as an annual tradition. CSUF will be “thinking pink” for as long as it takes to alleviate Breast Cancer.
Statistics taken from the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org
Submitted by Sharnette Underdue, Residential Community Coordinator, California State University, Fullerton