Tag Archives: Shelby Sward

April 23, 2014 Denim Day at BC

2014 Denim Day ProclamationOn Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, students, faculty, and staff at Bakersfield College gathered to observe “Denim Day,” a campaign originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.  The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Since then, wearing jeans on “Denim Day” has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault (http://denimdayusa.org/about).

The BC community signed their statements of Zero Tolerance of sexual assault on stacks of jeans donated to the Office of Student Life. A media campaign was distributed throughout the campus, and faculty engaged students in their classrooms with discussion on societal views towards sexual assault. SGA President, Shelby Sward and I signed numerous copies of a Proclamation, to be shared with the various leadership teams throughout campus. Our comments emphasized the importance of a Zero Tolerance policy on sexual assault, BC’s commitment to campus safety, and the need to bring awareness to the misconceptions and false attitudes towards the truth about victim’s rights and what is consent.

This will become an annual event at Bakersfield College, where in one resounding voice, we say “ ’No’ means ‘No’.”


Sonya Christian speaks while Shelby Sward signs


Kate Pluta and Zav Dadabhoy


SGA Prez Shelby Sward

Meet our students: Shelby Sward – Bakersfield College Student Advocate

Image<–This is Shelby Ashton Sward. You may not know who she is yet, but you soon will. This year, Shelby is Bakersfield College Student Government Association Legislative Liaison, which means she keeps track of what is happening in Sacramento and Washington, and advocates on behalf of Bakersfield College students with legislators.

That’s exactly what she did recently, when news of the changes to student loan interest rates was being discussed. In respond, and with the goal of letting our local legislators know exactly how the proposal would affect students, Shelby sent a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer.

Boxer quoted the letter in her most recent public address, which is posted on You Tube. Boxer was pleading with the Republican Senate Minority Leader to stand by students and reverse the hike. Take a look when you have a moment. Boxer mentions Shelby at about the 50-second mark.

Shelby can be emailed at sgalegl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.