What the FAU community has done for Breast Cancer Awareness month

Since Breast Cancer Awareness Month came to an end, the UP took a look at how FAU students stepped up to raise awareness.


Illustration by Emily Meilands.

Kendall Little, Contributing Writer

Women in their 20s with breast cancer will only account for less than 1% of cases, but it is one of the most common cancers that develop in young adults according to the American Cancer Association. With a reported 57% female student population at FAU in their 20s as of 2019 and Breast Cancer Awareness Month over, it poses the question – why did students raise more awareness than FAU itself?

The FAU Boca Students Advocating Volunteer Involvement (SAVI) Instagram account posted a single infographic advertising a Breast Cancer Awareness Webinar that occurred Oct. 20. The event was in collaboration with Owls Care and the post received 11 likes as of Nov. 1.

Chris Taylor, a 2020 graduate who is still heavily involved in his fraternity, Lambda Alpha Upsilon, commented on this saying “it’s important to get out to everyone, not just selected groups,” referencing the fact that FAU’s main Instagram page did not post anything about the webinar or about Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“When you are in a position where you have a large following, especially when you are an institution of education, you need to educate people,” Taylor said.

UF Health’s Instagram account had been actively posting about breast cancer awareness since the month began, whereas FAU Student Health Services’ Instagram had not.

Taylor said that he has seen student-run organizations spread awareness this month.
“I’m not talking about student government or anything, I’m talking about Greek organizations or any other student organizations, not FAU itself,” he said.

The Phormidable Phi chapter of the Lambda Alpha Upsilon (LAU) Fraternity at FAU partnered with FAU’s chapter of the National Organization for Women to create a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The fundraiser consists of selling white face masks with “save the tetas” written across the front in pink font. The money raised will go toward the production of masks and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Taylor said that the goal was to do something “in a way that’s kind of fun and different.”
He shared that “a lot of [LAU brothers] have family members or know people that have breast cancer.”

Taylor’s mother had breast cancer in 2013. He said that “seeing the person who is strongest in your eyes at their lowest low changes your perspective on a lot of things.”

Taylor added that “cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter what color, race, gender, or age you are.” The American Cancer Association reported that the incidence and mortality rate of breast cancer in women does not depend on race or ethnicity whatsoever on page 4 of their 2019-2020 Facts and Figures write-up.

“I’m sure that half the people involved in the faculty [at FAU] know a few people who have been affected by this. The least you can do is mention it once,” Taylor said.

The pandemic has put a halt to almost all in-person activities, but that isn’t stopping other universities from raising awareness for breast cancer this year.

Florida State University held a Breast Cancer Awareness Panel event on October 28th through Zoom to comply with COVID guidelines.

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) had an article published about their research toward improving breast cancer treatment and their chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority hosted an event on campus, sanctioned by FGCU, to fundraise for breast cancer research, which was promoted on their Instagram page.

Florida International University had a licensed M.D. write an article for their news site about why women should not wait to get their mammograms, even during the pandemic.

FAU Student Health Services said, “[they] do not provide any specific Breast Cancer Programs, however [they] do provide primary care and educate patients about breast health and the importance of mammograms and routine screening.”

Though Student Health Services did not contribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month this year, thanks to clubs and organizations on campus such as NOW and LAU, students can still learn more about breast cancer and donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which “invests in research that’s changing how we think about cancer,” according to their website.

The UP attempted to contact FAU Administration multiple times in the past couple of days on what FAU has done for BCA Month, and received no response as of the release of this piece. The article will be updated when responses are given.

Kendall Little is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.