Black and gold remain the dominant colors at The University of Southern Mississippi, but pink has been pushed to the forefront on the Hattiesburg campus during the month of October.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Paint Southern Miss Pink Committee has organized a series of activities designed to heighten awareness and raise money in support of the national campaign.
“The committee is very unique in that it unites the efforts of the committee with our student organizations, Southern Miss breast cancer survivors and various campus departments,” said Audrey Charoglu, assistant director for Student Activities and committee co-chair. “The events we plan allow awareness opportunities, as well as fund-raising opportunities.”
Campus activities/events include the following:
- -- Decorated Door Contest -- Open to departments, offices and dorms.
- -- Bra Art Competition – For $5 entry fee, participants were given a bra to decorate (in good taste). For $1 per vote, people could cast ballots for their favorite entry.
- -- Get Smarter – Free breast cancer informational materials made available at various locations on campus.
- -- Paint Southern Miss Pink Ceremony – Tuesday, Oct. 20 from noon-1 p.m. at Student Activities Hub. Breast cancer survivors will be honored and winners announced in door and bra contests.
- -- Dig Pink – Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. Southern Miss women’s volleyball team hosts Marshall. Breast cancer survivors admitted free.
- -- Making Strides for the American Cancer Society – Saturday, Oct. 31 at 8 a.m. Pride Field. A few hours of exercise, inspiration, camaraderie, entertainment and recognition of those affected by breast cancer.
The Southern Miss community raised a little over $5,400 last year toward the cause. And no one need remind Kay Behm how crucial awareness and early detection are in surviving breast cancer. Behm, associate professor and head of Access Services in University Libraries, has an extensive history with the deadly disease.
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is important to me as a survivor, but more importantly as a family member of victims of breast cancer,” she said. “My sister, aunt and cousin all had breast cancer. It is a time to reflect on those we love are no longer with us, but also to remind everyone of the importance of early detection and the need to find a cure for all cancer.”
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in women. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2009 there will be approximately 192,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women and 1,910 cases in men.
Susan Bone, co-chair of the Paint Southern Miss Pink Committee, has watched her mother overcome breast cancer on two different occasions. She says a big part of the committee’s focus is encouraging students, faculty and staff to be proactive in the fight against breast cancer.
“Many people are affected by breast cancer or know someone who has been affected,” said Bone. “Raising awareness and encouraging students to perform monthly self-breast exams and take care of their bodies for overall health is important.”
For more information about breast cancer awareness activities at Southern Miss call Bone at 601-266-5655 or Charoglu at 601-266-5516.
Southern Miss students cast votes for entries in the Bra Art Competition held this week on campus. The event was one of several activities planned in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Southern Miss Photo by Steve Rouse).
About The University of Southern MississippiThe University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.