A strong yet subtle movement is gaining popularity and respect across the U.S. by providing safe spaces to others, which are indicated by wearing a safety pin. The P.I.N. Project (“Peace in Need”) is an effort to provide a safe and supportive space for those who need it. Keene State College is not shy to this trend, and many faculty, staff and students on campus are wearing their pins, letting others know that they are a safe space.
The idea of providing safe spaces is a relatively new concept in an effort to provide a forum where marginalized groups can come and feel safe, equal, valued and respected. Mainstream stereotypes have no place within safe spaces.
In an effort to break down the negative connotations associated with groups of people different than the majority, safety pins are worn to let others know one is there for them whether black, white, transsexual, cisgender, immigrant or native.
By wearing a safety pin, one is committed to being anti-discriminatory. This means anyone can talk to those wearing the safety pin for support, a voice or even just to walk across campus in order to feel safe. Whether or not one makes up a minority group or not, a safe space is a place for any two people to come together and be unified in an effort to gain a better understanding of each other.
Having the will to listen and try to understand others’ needs is the first step in bettering a society that we all coexist in.
In a way, these pins bridge a peaceful path between people who may have never crossed each others’ paths otherwise. Coming together and providing a peaceful, safe space for others is what these pins reflect.
Originally, safety pins were worn in the United Kingdom for different reasons, but with the same idea of solidarity.
According to an article published on Vanity Fair’s website on Nov. 13, “The safety pin movement, which started in the U.S. a few days ago and has grown exponentially in popularity, is actually adapted from a similar protest that followed the Brexit vote in June, when the U.K. decided to leave the European Union.”
Although in the United States, these pins are worn in an effort to stand in solidarity with those groups of people who were victimized, ostracized and discriminated against during the campaigning of the election, and even still following the results.
Following the results of the election, the United States has seen a drastic increase in hate crimes. According to the Southern Poverty Law Centers website, “In the ten days following the election, there were almost 900 reports of harassment and intimidation from across the nation.
Many harassers invoked Trump’s name during assaults, making it clear that the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from his electoral success.”
KSC also experienced a hate crime quite recently when a swastika was burned onto the ceiling of a bathroom in Carle Hall. Incidents like this occurring across the nation will not be tolerated, and so by wearing a safety pin, one is able to show their intolerance for such behavior.
We at The Equinox want to see people from all groups come together and take advantage of the safe spaces people are offering across our campus.
We want to see others unite in support of this safe space movement, while standing against discrimination.
To wear a safety pin and openly offer a shoulder to lean on for others is to take a conscientious step toward rising above hate crimes.
Aside from those clearly displaying the safety pins worn on their attire, other resources are available to those students and groups who need a safe and supportive place or person.
Safety pins attached to bookmarks were passed out at a table in the Young Student Center on Monday Dec. 5.
The bookmarks give a short message, saying no matter who a person is, “If you need me I’ll be with you. All I ask is that you be with me too.”
On the other side of the bookmark is a list of places and phone numbers on and off campus where people can go to find a safe and supportive place.
The resources on the bookmark and those people wearing a safety pin on campus are all available safe outlets for students to utilize.