By DAN BAUER
Women’s Week, an annual event organized Allegheny College’s Panhellenic Council, began this Monday.
Several events were held over the week to raise awareness of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as domestic violence.
The week began with “Paint the Campus Pink” on Monday, an initiative that encouraged students at the college to wear pink to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Volunteers also gave out pink hair extensions in the campus center.
The hair extensions were hugely popular, according to Jessica Minsterman, ’11, the vice president of philanthropy with the Panhellenic Council.
“People were lining up before eleven, and the extensions were gone by noon,” Minsterman said.
On Tuesday, a stiletto race was held in the Vukovich lobby.
Teams of two signed up, paying $3 a person, to participate in the race, which raised around $100 for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
On Wednesday, volunteers gave out cupcakes for free to encourage people on campus to relax.
Alpha Chi Omega’s annual Candlelight Vigil was held later in the night at Ford Chapel.
The service included speakers from Women’s Services in Crawford County.
The speakers were both volunteers with Women’s Services and survivors of domestic violence.
“It was a success,” said Lexie Kane, ’11, the philanthropy chair of Alpha Chi Omega and the organizer of the event. “[Domestic violence] affects a lot of young women, and it’s good to see the face with the voice.”
One speaker, who requested to only be identified as “Kim,” had a particularly affecting story.
“This is the very first time I have said this to a crowd,” she began, launching into a chronicle of a pattern of abuse that began when she was eight and lasted until adulthood.
The story ended, however, on a positive note.
“My mother said [of the abuse] that ‘it’s life, and it happens,'” Kim said at the end of her story, looking out on the silent, supportive crowd. “But this is life, and this what happens.”
Attendees were struck by the program, approaching the speakers to voice their appreciation and support.
“A lot of people cried,” Kane observed.
“[The Candlelight Vigil] was a wonderful, moving experience,” said Andrew Jockers, ’12, who attended the event with some friends. “It opened a lot of eyes to a harsh and shocking side of the world that people need to be aware of.”
While the vigil left many in the audience struck and speechless, Minsterman said that the goal of the Panhellenic Council was enjoyment.
“We mainly just tried to make things fun,” Minsterman said. “We didn’t want to make to make it speakers that no one really wants to go to.”
Women’s Week concludes today with mini-manicures in the campus center lobby from eleven to one.