As Valentine’s Day approaches, people express their love and affection for significant others, family and friends, often by buying flowers, chocolate or other gifts. This year, Graduate Student Affairs is holding a campus-wide fundraising initiative, Cupid Express, to benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. This board encourages the Brandeis community to participate in this worthy initiative by using Cupid Express as the one-stop-shop for buying roses and chocolate.

For every dollar spent at Cupid Express, 100 percent of the proceeds go toward BARCC programs that “help survivors of sexual violence heal from their past and help raise awareness about consent and healthy relationships,” according to a Feb. 9 email from Dean of Students Jamele Adams.

Founded in 1973, BARCC’s mission is to “end sexual violence through healing and social change” and “empower survivors to heal and seek justice in ways that are meaningful to them,” per the website. The organization offers a variety of resources, including support groups, self-care workshops, legal advocates and trainings for topics such as the bystander effect or consent. 

By purchasing roses and chocolate through Cupid Express, members of the Brandeis community can directly help BARCC’s noble cause, as well as promote a culture that prioritizes consent and supports survivors of sexual assault. This board urges the community to make use of Cupid Express’ services instead of purchasing roses and chocolate at different stores such as CVS or Walgreens. Purchasing goods through this service is giving to a good cause, one that is important to pay attention to on a daily basis.

A survey conducted by the University in 2015 found that 22 percent of female respondents on campus had “been sexually assaulted, including inappropriate sexual touching, fondling, grabbing and groping.” Sexual assault and misconduct are issues that many people deal with, and providing resources and help to the people affected should be a priority for the University as well as the Brandeis community. Donating all proceeds from the Cupid Express fundraiser is an admirable effort to support an organization that aims to help sexual assault survivors heal, and this board commends the Graduate Student Association for spearheading this effort.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, a time for the spread of love and affection, members of the Brandeis community should consider giving to the cause, spreading awareness and fostering a culture of consent that improves the safety of the community.

Cupid Express will be active from noon to 2 p.m. this Wednesday in the Heller School of Social Policy and Management’s Zinner Forum, Brandeis International Business School’s Student Life office, the Graduate Student Center in Kutz Hall, the information desk in Goldfarb Library, the Shapiro Science Center atrium and in the Gender & Sexuality Center in Usdan Student Center.