Music blasted through the front lawn of the Algonquin Student Commons on Sept.13 while students enjoyed Buskerfest and Vendor Fair.
Project Lighthouse and the Pride Center at Algonquin teamed up to show students the importance of believing in sexual violence victims and to increase their knowledge on the subject.
“Project Lighthouse is a sexual violence prevention project at Algonquin College,” said Project Lighthouse coordinator Sarah Crawford, “Our tagline is shine the light on the topic of sexual violence and help students navigate healthy sexual relationships.”
Students lined up to talk to staff handing out white t-shirts to tie-dye with a black Project Lighthouse symbol stitched onto the bottom corner of the shirt.
“[I learned the] same stuff as everybody should know, being respectful and understanding towards people who have encountered problems in their life,” said Sarah O’Connell-Austin, a student of the veterinary technician program.
Students and friends helped each other out by tie-dyeing their shirts and picking out colors for each other.
“I really just wanted a way to be able to engage students for five minutes and capture their attention and engage them with the project,” said Crawford. “By doing an art project or something like that it gives us a way to have that five minutes of undivided attention.”
“This is fun and I think that this is a really good program,” said Sofie Coulas,18, first-year graphic design student.
Last year Project Lighthouse and the Pride Center quickly sold out of their 600 t-shirts. This year they decided to up their number to 800 and still sold out of all the shirts by the end of the event.
They have ordered 150 more shirts to bring to Algonquin College Residence and Algonquin’s Perth and Pembroke campuses.
There are many resources on campus that students can access including counselling, security and health services. As well, off-campus students can access Ottawa Rape Crisis Center and the National Sexual Assault Helpline.