By Hannah Mueoz
Cal Poly students strutted their stylish jeans in a mission to
educate their peers about domestic violence in the Denim Day
Fashion Show hosted by the Stop Violence Office on Thursday.
This show was inspired more by protest than by fashion. In 1999
the Italian Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that a 45-year-old
driving instructor was not guilty of raping his 18-year-old pupil
because she was wearing jeans that were too tight and the court
ruled the girl would have needed to help him remove the pants.
The decision caused a worldwide stir and a clash between female
parliamentarians and their male colleagues who they said are “often
elderly, with old-fashioned ideas,” according to a BBC article.
They wore jeans the next day to protest the ruling and this
demonstration spurred international support. During Denim Day,
people can wear jeans to make a statement against myths about
“To hear every incident brought everything into perspective to
what’s really going on around me,” said Emily Troyer, a second-
year liberal studies student.
Such cases are the reason why the Stop Violence Office fights
domestic violence and educates students about rape and the
resources available to victims.
The models consisted of volunteers from the Men’s Allies group,
sorority members and
Stop Violence Office interns. Before walking off the stage, each
model stated an unknown fact concerning rape, in order to educate
“Cal Poly Pomona has zero tolerance for sexual assault and
sexual harassment,” said one volunteer.
Besides the large audience that attended, people walking by the
University Park stopped and listened to the facts.
“Our goal is to attract the everyday student,” said Erika
Zepeda, the assistant coordinator. “It mostly attracts past victims
or friends of victims.”
The event aimed at educating with examples and statistics about
sexual assault and Denim Day.
“The fashion show was informative with lots of facts,” said
Shenika Perkins, a fifth-year sociology student and an intern with
the Stop Violence Office.
The office’s continual goal is to inform students as a
“Informed prevention is the best way to protect yourself from
sex offenders,” says a pamphlet available at the office.
“We want everyone to be familiar with our office and make it a
common place,” said Zepeda. “If students are concerned about
domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault, they should stop
by. It is completely free and we can even give them referrals.”
Cal Poly’s Denim Day is a small version of an international
movement and a larger scale show that will take place at Staples
Center on April 25 where thousands are expected. Peace Over
Violence, formerly known as Los Angeles Commission on Assaults
Against Women, organizes the Denim Day in L.A that is in its ninth
installment. The organization’s Web site boasts their protest as
being “the biggest and most powerful sexual assault prevention
education and awareness campaign ever.”
The Stop Violence Office’s future project is to develop the
Men’s Allies group. This is an effort to involve men in the
office’s activities because the students typically interested in
the Stop Violence Office are primarily female.
The center invites all students to join them in the March and
Rally taking place on April 26. This is a similar set up to Denim
Day, and it is a march to protest against sexual assault.
Hannah Munoz can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or
by phone at (909) 869-3744.
The Cal Poly Ballroom Dance Company performed a variety of dance styles Friday night
Company Swings Night Away
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