October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a pretty big month: lots of pink, ribbons, events, memorials, and things to do in relation to spreading awareness. But, there is one question that The Whit Staff is left to ponder: Is Rowan educating its student body properly and extensively?
There are a few branches to this overarching question The Whit Staff is asking. Those branches are: Does Rowan have enough campus resources that educate students and how extensively are those resources educating its students?
Quickly typing “breast cancer” on Proflink results in four organizations on campus. One of them has nothing to do with fighting the cause — it’s a sorority. The other club is not directly related to spreading breast cancer awareness but does focus on science and scientific research. Sort of close?
Breast Cancer Meal Care is an organization that packs and readies meals for patients going through treatment, both invasive and noninvasive. Directly from Proflink, Breast Cancer Meal Care states, “When a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer their schedule quickly fills up with appointments and treatments. While the patients focus on getting better, we plan on giving them one less thing to worry about by providing them with a dinner.”
They meet every Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Business Hall.
CAC takes a different approach to supporting breast cancer awareness. As stated on Proflink, “Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a program created to help eliminate cancer by initiating and supporting the programs of the American Cancer Society on college/graduate school campuses.”
Unlike Breast Cancer Meal Care, CAC takes a didactical approach. CAC is dedicated to educating its members and students about breast cancer and breast cancer research.
According to their CAC, “The program is designed to allow students and staff to work through many different channels to eliminate cancer. These channels are our strategic directions—advocacy, cancer education, Relay For Life, and survivorship.” Students who are part of CAC participate in various activities that relate to breast cancer awareness.
These groups on campus are great. Preparing meals for cancer patients? Amazing. Educating students about breast cancer research? Awesome. But, to what extent is this awareness being pushed?
The health resources on campus are also great with FAMCare offering low to no-cost breast exams and cancer screenings to students through the Wellness Center on Mondays and Wednesdays.
When a user types in “breast cancer” and clicks events on campus, their options are limited. Besides Cancer Meal Care meetings, the only other breast cancer awareness-related event is a powderpuff game on Oct. 26. Even more surprising, typing in “breast cancer awareness” results in no new events; instead; the events listed go as far back as 2015.
Notably, the Rowan Red Cross is taking the initiative to set breast cancer awareness events in place and has recently held a rock painting event dedicated to the topic at hand. A powderpuff game and painted rocks supporting breast cancer awareness are not enough.
Clubs and events are optional. Classes are not.
The Whit Staff isn’t suggesting every teaching member at Rowan brief the class on breast cancer. Simply, The Whit Staff proposes faculty at least mention the month and some resources to check out.
Education is more than writing an essay and turning it in for a letter grade. As a learning community, Rowan is obligated to educate its student body in ways both inside and outside the classroom.
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