Photo Essay: Students attend first annual Denim Day event


Rory Conlon

Jeans were hung on clotheslines leading up to the Main Quad in celebration of “Denim Day,” which takes place April 26 of every year. The day’s name comes from a sexual assault case in Italy that made national and international headlines.

Rory Conlon

De Anza student health services hosted its first ever Denim Day event in collaboration with Santa Clara County to raise awareness around sexual violence and provide resources for preventing substance abuse.


In 1992, an 18-year-old woman was raped by her driving instructor, and he was successfully convicted. However, he won an appeal to the Italian Supreme Court in 1999, with the court reasoning that the jeans the victim wore were “too tight” to take off without her help, implying that the sex was consensual. This caused an uproar in Italy, with millions of women donning jeans and taking to the streets in protest of the verdict. The jeans have since become a symbol of solidarity with victims of sexual assault.


Students created artwork aligning with the theme of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Attendees of the event were encouraged to vote online for their favorite. This is option one, a white shirt with the words “survived” and “surviving” marked on to it on April 26.


This is option two, a pair of jeans with “NO MEANS NO,” “NO!” and “STOP” written on it on April 26.


This is option three, a pair of jeans with the phrases “I owe you nothing” and “enough is enough” written on it on April 26.


Once students walked up the stairs, they could visit booths for De Anza psychological services and student health services on April 26.


Pictured to the right is Erika Martinez, a clinic nurse practitioner in student health services, and pictured to the left is Rosafel Nogra, the student health service clinic’s director and a nurse practitioner. Nogra organized the event in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which happens every April. She communicated with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services to bring in participants for the event on April 26.


De Anza students visit the County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services booth on April 26.


(From left to right): Pictured are program lead Alexandra Velazquez, program manager Houyee Chow and youth program specialist Dorothy Tang, who represented Youth in Technology Incubator on April 26. Chow explained that the organization’s goal is to “increase equity in the arts, especially for low-income youth.” The program accomplishes this by providing students with art instructors and free supplies to help them explore careers in creative fields.


De Anza students visit a booth managed by representatives from the HIV Outreach, Prevention and Education program on April 26.


Shyanna Jones represents the Santa Clara Opioid Overdose Prevention project at their booth on April 26. She is holding up a box of Naloxone HCI nasal spray, also known by its original brand name: Narcan. She said that if a person is overdosing on a drug such as fentanyl, codeine or morphine, spraying this medication up their nose could keep them alive until emergency help arrives.


As part of the event, the nonprofit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving brought their crash car trailer to campus for students to see. Inside is a Mercedes that was rear-ended by a drunk driver at over 110 mph. Scott Leister, a 21-year-old college student studying medicine, was riding in the backseat and killed on impact.


Pictured is Scott Leister, who was killed by a drunk driver on his way home in 2008. According to the MADD webpage, he was planning to apply his medical degree toward rendering international humanitarian aid. He volunteered in several countries and was working to build a Habitat for Humanity home just days before his death.


Program manager Lashanna Hornage runs a booth for the County of Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs. On her table were stress ball unicorns, different LGBTQ community flags and resource pamphlets directing students to LGBTQ resources in the community. She said there was a large representation of LGBTQ+ students on the De Anza campus on April 26.


If students attended ten different booths, they were rewarded with a slice of pizza on April 26.