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SUNY Plaza “Shines the Light” for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

SUNY Plaza at night in purple lightPhoto courtesy Dan Foote

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher this week announced that the SUNY Plaza building in downtown Albany will again be lit with purple lights for the month of October, as part of the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign.

OPDV has also designated Oct. 16 as the date to “Turn the NYS Workforce Purple,” and is encouraging all New Yorkers to wear purple to work.

“Public awareness can be a highly effective change agent in domestic violence among New Yorkers,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “SUNY is proud to participate in the ‘Shine the Light’ campaign in downtown Albany and at our 64 campuses throughout New York as we take a united stand against domestic violence.”

SUNY Plaza, formerly the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building, was built in the early 1900s when it was determined that an attractive plaza and surrounding buildings would be a preferred backdrop for the State Street neighborhood, instead of the large railroad yard, passenger and freight trains, and railroad bridge that bordered the waterfront. The central tower of SUNY Plaza is 13 stories high and capped by an 8-foot-tall working weathervane that is a replica of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon.

The SUNY Plaza flood lights that shine on the face on the building will be tinted purple every Monday through Friday night in the month of October.

In addition to participation at SUNY System Administration, many of the SUNY campuses across New York will also raise awareness for domestic violence in the month of October, including:

  • Farmingdale State College‘s only national sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, has partnered with O.P.I. nail polish, which created a signature color for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each chapter has received 125 bottles of polish to sell and to help raise awareness. Additionally, purple lights will illuminate the Horton Administration Building, and on Oct. 1, purple ribbons will be distributed to faculty and staff.
  • Fashion Institute of Technology will participate in Take Back The Night for the second consecutive year, with the campus community marching on Oct. 17.
  • Onondaga Community College will include a “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” message in its electronic sign rotation at campus entrances, during which standard lighting will change to purple.
  • Schenectady County Community College will offer a self defense class for women on Oct. 30, and light the campus’s front portico in purple for the month.
  • SUNY Sullivan will be hosting activities and events for students, faculty, staff, and community members to raise awareness of violence against women during the month of October. The main event is a campus-wide silent march called “Walk With Me,” held to remember those women who have been victims of violence.
  • Tompkins Cortland Community College has several educational programs planned, highlighted by the Clothesline Project on October 23, which creates awareness around the issues of intimate violence through a display of shirts with powerful words and images. Members of the college community will also be given the opportunity to make their own shirt to share how intimate violence has affected their life.
  • SUNY Ulster is co-sponsoring a Domestic Violence Conference and information forum Wednesday, October 2, from 8:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m., at the college lounge in Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge Campus.

Among these campuses recognizing the event is Mohawk Valley Community College, which is lighting Payne Hall for the month.

This is OPDV’s sixth year to “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” by turning the State purple. In the past, landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building, bridges, colleges, and statues were illuminated purple for a day, a week, or the entire month. In addition, main streets and public vehicles have been adorned with purple flags, and employees, hospital staff, and small business-owners have dressed in purple or worn purple ribbons.

Help is available for all victims of domestic abuse. Call OPDV at 1-800-942-6906 or visit the OPDV website for more information.

    Big Ideas

      Written by Big Ideas

      Big Ideas is the Blog of The State University of New York, published by the Office of New Media.

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