Pink Shirt Day. Although Pink Shirt Day has come to the U of A’s campuses before, this year marks a first for one group — our protective services peace officers — who are participating in their own way.
“Officers are not able to wear a pink shirt to show our support,” said Stephanie Hartwig, a Peace Officer with UAPS. It turns out that provincial peace officers follow a strict dress code – and it doesn’t include pink. But, starting this year, UAPS has found a way to wear a pink shirt… a tiny pink shirt… in the form of a pin.
UAPS has joined an initiative started by Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers. The campaign allows first responders, who are restricted by their uniforms, to purchase pink shirt pins to wear on their uniforms (pictured above), with proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Hartwig is leading the project for UAPS, and hopes to organize a broader Pink Shirt Day campaign on campus next year. “We always have shown our support for people in the university environment targeted by bullying and harassment,” Hartwig said, adding that UAPS is responsible for code-of-student-behaviour investigations.
For Hartwig, wearing the Pink Shirt Day pin sends an important message: “I want people in the university community to know that we take [incidences of bullying and harassment] very seriously on campus. People come here to learn,” Hartwig said. “They should not be worried about their personal safety or wellbeing while they’re here on campus.”