October was National Breast Health Awareness Month, and Scripps joined the celebration of this prominent piece of female anatomy by going all-out pink. The dining hall served pink cupcakes with pink frosting and strawberry ice cream. Students were encouraged to decorate pink daisy cards in honor of cancer survivors and victims in their lives; daisy cards could be found in Seal Court, the Motley, the Malott Commons Office and the Tiernan Field House, and were ultimately used to decorate tree trunks on Elm Tree Lawn. 5C Colleges Against Cancer launched sales of their neon pink “I <3 Boobs” tank tops, and co-sponsored one of October’s Wednesday night Pubs, providing pink glow sticks for the students dancing in Dom’s lounge.
On Monday, Oct. 24, Debbie Cantwell, the Founder of the Pink Daisy Project, gave a lunch presentation titled, “Making Pink Lemonade out of Lemons: Focusing My Need to Turn a Devastating Life Experience into Something Positive.” Debbie Cantwell has been honored as a “CNN Hero” for her organization’s commitment to helping economically disadvantaged breast cancer patients subsist economically. The organization provides gas cards, grocery cards and even some special pampering and professional family photo shoots for “sisters” with little time left.
Breast Health Awareness Month is always a big deal at Scripps. Past Octobers have been full of speakers and events like the Debbie Cantwell talk, aimed at inspiring, empowering and educating students, staff and faculty. Events in previous years have also included “Power of Pink” walks, breast cancer survivors panels (featuring Scripps powerhouse women like Amy Marcus-Newhall, Judy Harvey Sahak and Sue Castagnetto), “Breast Cancer Basics” presentations, student art shows and concerts at the Motley, and even Chipotle fund-raisers for the Breast Health Awareness Organization.
Why has this October seemingly left the Awareness out of Breast Health Awareness Month? Why the dearth of walks, panels, presentations, shows and fundraisers? Unfortunately, this October came in the wake of the Director of the Malott Commons Suzanne Zetterberg’s retirement and departure from Scripps College. Despite the efforts of other administrators and offices on campus, this October lacked some of the vibrancy of previous Breast Health Awareness Months at Scripps. With Zetterberg’s office empty and the Malott Commons director position unfilled, this October has been a paler shade of pink.