Hands Down

Students made handprints on the windows in the Doan Center to signify the prohibition of domestic and sexual assault.

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The SVSU colony of Alpha Kappa Lambda (AKL) last week had 1,005 students participate in its “These Hands Don’t Hurt” week by placing their handprints on the windows in the Doan Center.

The handprints signified pledges that prohibited participants from using their hands for domestic and sexual assault.

“The goal of ‘These Hands Don’t Hurt’ week is to help spread awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially on college campuses,” said George Berg, the service and philanthropy chair of AKL. “It helps bring the campus together to realize how real of an issue this is and pledging to never hurt anyone.”

Upon placing their handprint on the window, participants were asked to donate to local sexual assault centers that assist assault victims on their road to recovery. AKL also assisted in the promotion of the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event that took place Thursday, April 6. The walk was a social awareness event where men walked in high heels until they had reached a distance of one mile.

The second annual “These Hands Don’t Hurt” week was well-received and received high praise from both AKL members and participants.

“The week was received by the student body very well,” Berg said. “Nearly everyone we asked either said yes or said that they had already pledged. Overall, many people thanked us for putting on an event for such a great cause.”

Members of SVSU administration joined students in participating in “These Hands Don’t Hurt.” Executive Director of Alumni Relations Jim Dwyer and Associate Provost for Student Affairs Sidney Childs, among others, placed their handprints on the wall.

“These Hands Don’t Hurt” week is an initiative that chapters of AKL nationwide participate in. The week was originally started at East Tennessee State University in 1995.

“To know it’s going on nationwide makes it even more special,” said AKL executive board member Dylan Langlois said. “Our number of pledges from last year to this year tripled in size, and everyone really understood the issue at hand. It’s a feeling of pride to come from SVSU because everyone can unite together like this.”

AKL started planning for “These Hands Don’t Hurt” during winter break while coordinating with Student Wellness Programs to promote “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” AKL first was asked to attend “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” and with the similar message of both initiatives, it was a smooth transition for the two groups to promote each other.

The fraternity plans on “These Hands Don’t Hurt” week being an annual event that takes place every campus. The group puts it on in April because the month is “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”