On Wednesdays we should do more


Photo courtesy of Dohyun Kim

Each Wednesday in October, the SGA promotes pink fashion in honor of breast cancer awareness month. However, the days lack any correlating fundraising or further action.

Pinks of all shades overflow the hallway each Wednesday of October, which was deemed Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985 by a handful of healthcare sponsors. WJ, in an attempt to support those who have suffered from or survived this horrid disease, implemented the “on Wednesdays we wear pink” spirit day, clearly a benevolent initiative. The choice to incorporate this day is respected — but is it enough?

Breast cancer awareness, specifically the act of acknowledging breast cancer by wearing the universal ribbon or the color pink, is no new facade. However, as I’ve become aware of the multitude of students who cheerfully dress in pink during this month, myself included, it’s come to my attention that no one is really doing anything. Without any action proposed by the school, the student body is left simply acknowledging that breast cancer exists. Even still, what does this bare minimum of recognizing the existence accomplish? At most, a student may think to themselves, “I’m wearing pink for breast cancer.” The simple fact that breast cancer exists is not news to anyone. Such a large portion of students wear pink in support of the day, in contrast to the small fraction that actually acts to aid those suffering. We cannot expect each student to begin their own initiative for fundraising, but what if the school did?

There are an abundance of sports teams that incorporate breast cancer awareness into their events to direct proceeds towards related foundations, such as girls’ volleyball’s “Dig Pink.” Any action like this should be admired and respected. So when the entire student body is invited to wear pink on Wednesdays, why aren’t they invited to donate or raise funds? Given that spirit days are designed to celebrate an event and unite the student body, it seems somewhat wrong to unite students in acknowledgment of this serious illness without doing anything to help those affected by it. The lack of action taken leaves the spirit day feeling somewhat empty. In order to make use of this day, there should be a school wide proposal for action: incorporating donation bins, fundraising activities, meetings with survivors\; anything that will go one step further from mere acknowledgment.

My intent in bringing attention to this issue is not to shame all those who choose to participate in the spirit day. Spreading awareness is the first step to making an impact. Personally, I’ve tried to wear pink on all of the designated days in my past two years. Pink Wednesdays should not be abolished — but rather extended.