Clotheslines filled the Centennial Quad at Northeastern University on Wednesday afternoon. On all sides of the quad, at the Ryder Hall, West Village, Shillman Hall and Egan Science Center directions, t-shirts waved as part of the "Clothesline Project", held to honor those who have spoken out on sexual and domestic crimes.
But the t-shirts were more than a tribute. They were designed and painted by women who had suffered crimes such as rape, sexual harrassment and domestic violence. The t-shirts formed a powerful picture, as a quad most commonly seen with thousands of students walking to class was transformed, momentarily, into what looked like a large laundry area with testimonial t-shirts. The effect of the tribute was twofold; it reminded one both how prevelent these crimes are, but also, how brave the victims are for letting people know what happened.
The Clothesline Project is not new, nor is it limited to Northeastern. It began in 1990 in Cape Cod, and has made its way onto campuses of such schools as St. John's University, the University of North Dakota, the University of Northern Colorado and James Madison University, among others.