NYU’s Colleges Against Cancer chapter hosted a Chalk It Up event in Washington Square Park to spread awareness about breast cancer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The event, previously scheduled for Oct. 7 but postponed to Oct. 9 because of rain, was part of the Paint the Campus Pink campaign and featured facts about breast cancer written out in pink chalk around the central fountain in the Square. Written in chalk were facts like, “29 percent of all new diagnosed cancer is breast cancer.” Organizers handed out flyers with additional information to passersby. Colleges Against Cancer, which organizes NYU’s Relay for Life team, has several events planned for October, including fundraisers and walks.
“The most important thing to realize about cancer diagnosis in general is that cancer doesn’t discriminate,” said CAS junior Saman Marji, the advocacy chair of Colleges Against Cancer.
Marji said they chose the park because of the volume of people walking through every day.
“We have the opportunity to meet strangers from across the country who relay every year and believe in our message,” Marji said.
Many people in the park walked over the chalk statements without looking at them, but Marji said the main goal of the event was to make at least one more person on campus aware.
“I was happy when one person said ‘Oh, it’s actually Breast Cancer Awareness Month?’ … That was the point of this whole thing,” Marji said. “It’s not just to tell people what’s happening, but to make sure that the people who don’t know now know.”
CAS senior Alyssa Vigliotti, the president of NYU’s Colleges Against Cancer club, said that although many individuals are aware of breast cancer, few are aware of concrete facts about the disease.
“I think, specifically, everyone knows about breast cancer in terms of the pink ribbons, but I don’t think people realize how severe it is or the statistics,” Vigliotti said. “I think something else that a lot of people don’t realize is that men can get breast cancer, too.”
LSP sophomore Jasmine Luo was at the park during the event. Although she said she does not think the event will make a huge difference in curing breast cancer, it is important to call attention to the issue.
“I think [the event] will make more people know more about breast cancer.” Luo said. “People will pay attention to [breast cancer] patients and their own bodies and health situation.”
A version of this story appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 10 print edition. Additional reporting by Su Sie Park. Gianna Collier-Pitts is a contributing writer. Email them at [email protected]
* Correction: In a previous version of this article, two students’ class years were incorrect. Colleges Against Cancer plans NYU Relay. They are not separate organizations. Additionally, CAC hosts many chalk it up events throughout the year, and this was not the second annual such event.