UPDATE: Nov. 9, 2015

Due to the rain expected Monday into Tuesday, the Pledge Purple Take Back the Night Walk on Main Campus has been moved to Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.  The starting point will still be Gateway Hall and finish at the Cupola. 

The Health Sciences Campus Take Back the Night Walk remains on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and will start at the Brody lobby and finish in the Brody Auditorium.
East Carolina fights violence, bullying with new Pledge Purple week

Nov. 5, 2015

ECU News Services

East Carolina University will launch a new weeklong initiative, Pledge Purple, Nov. 9 – 13. Events for ECU faculty, staff and students will focus on education and advocacy about sexual violence, harassment and bullying.

“Every single member of the ECU community has a role in creating a safe campus,” said Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs. “Pledge Purple is a great way to engage our students, faculty and staff in the fight against sexual violence and at the same time it empowers all of us to take a stand…together.” 

The week starts with Take Back the Night walks Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. on the health sciences campus, beginning at the Brody Medical School lobby, and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night on main campus, beginning at the Gateway Residence Hall Sounds Conference Room. In both locations, a Pledge Purple lighting ceremony will take place.

On Tuesday, the focus shifts to bystander intervention with events throughout the day including a prize patrol for students who can answer questions about sexual violence, bullying and harassment. The "It’s on Us video," shown at right, will be available for faculty to show in their classes. At 4 p.m. a bystander training program will be held in Mendenhall 244.
The "It's on Us" campaign against sexual assault was led by the ECU Student Government Association during Sexual Assault Awareness Week last spring. Their campaign included the video above, featuring SGA members and ECU administrators. (Video produced by Video East)

Wednesday is Pledge Purple Day, in which individuals will be encouraged to take a pledge against sexual violence, harassment and bullying.

The pledge is as follows: “I will not use my hands or words in acts of violence, bullying, or sexual assault. I will educate myself about what violence, bullying and sexual assault looks like in the Pirate community. I will support my fellow Pirates and safely intervene as an active bystander if I witness scenarios of violence, bullying or sexual assault.”

On Thursday, guest speaker Beverly Gooden will share her experience as a survivor of domestic violence. Gooden created #WhyIStayed, a global movement that supports victims of domestic violence. Gooden will speak at 5 p.m. in the Vidant Medical Center Auditorium and at 8 p.m. in Hendrix Theatre, Mendenhall Student Center.

A Pledge Purple night during an ECU volleyball match will conclude the week’s events on Friday. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Minges Coliseum. ECU volleyball players who took the pledge will wear their Pledge Purple shirts during warm-ups and all who took the pledge are encouraged to attend.
PeeDee the Pirate, center, signals approval as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, left, and Dean of Students Lynn Roeder sign the Pledge Purple banner.

Dr. Erik Kneubuehl, associate vice chancellor for student involvement and leadership and co-chair for Pledge Purple, said the week’s activities are a way for the campus to come together.

“Pledge Purple Week is an opportunity for the Pirate Nation to say we will not stand for sexual violence, bullying or harassment within our community,” he said. “These events and programs will address serious topics, promoting campus dialogues focused on establishing an environment that is supportive of all communities of people and is not tolerant of these types of behaviors or actions.”     

More than 25 campus and community partners collaborated for Pledge Purple week including Student Involvement and Leadership (Greek Life, Student Activities Board and more), Athletics, the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, the Office of Equity and Diversity, the College of Nursing and Uptown Greenville.  

Visit the Pledge Purple website at to learn more. For additional information, contact Kneubuehl at 252-328-4700 or

Pictured below, members of the ECU community came together this week in a commitment to Pledge Purple, a program designed to prevent bullying, harassment and sexual violence on campus. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)