SASA and SAAC set to host inaugural Denim Derby

Student organizations come together across campus to raise awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

By Emma Swett | April 11, 2024 10:08pm
The University of Portland's inaugural Denim Derby is set to take place on Friday, April 12 in the academic quad at 11:15 a.m.
Media Credit: Janea Melido / The Beacon

The Students Against Sexual Assault Club (SASA) will be joining forces with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to host the first ever Denim Derby at the University of Portland. The Denim Derby is an event aiming to raise awareness for survivors of sexual assault, and is set to take place on Friday, April 12 in the academic quad at 11:15 a.m. 

Proceeds from the event will be donated to local sexual assault resource center, Call to Safety. Prior to Friday’s event anyone can donate to the organization with the link. There is also a QR code available around campus. 

SASA Co-President, Bella Hull, highlights their union with Call to Safety for this event. 

“We wanted to do something that would help generate money for a local sexual assault resource center,” SASA Co-President Bella Hull said. “There is more of a purpose to it other than just the importance of raising awareness.”

There will also be opportunities to donate at the event. Attendees can sponsor a runner at the SASA booth that will be located in front of Franz at the time of the event.  

In the spirit of competition, SASA and SAAC compiled several prize opportunities of goodie bags and Pilot swag. Runners in the race, individuals who sponsor a runner and whoever is deemed best dressed will be eligible to win a prize. Individuals who donate to Call to Safety will also be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a prize. 

SASA and SAAC are encouraging attendees and race participants to wear denim to the event in support of sexual assault survivors in association with Denim Day, historically celebrated on April 26, in an effort to combat victim blaming and educate others about sexual violence. 

SASA Co-President Bella Hull and SAAC President Will Bush pose for a portrait in the Academic Quad, where the Derby will take place on April 12.

by Natalie Gordon / The Beacon

The collaboration between SASA and SAAC has been a year in the making and the stars have finally aligned with an opportunity for the two clubs to work together.  

“When I became president my junior year, one of my main goals was not only to bring the student athlete community together, but I also wanted to start to get [athletes] involved across campus,” Bush said. 

SASA also believes in the importance of building community with other clubs across campus, but for them it holds another level of significance. 

“Our club covers a serious topic that makes it less approachable for some people,” Hull said. “Collaborating with other clubs makes it a lot easier to reach different people.” 

Friday’s Denim Derby will conclude SASA’s spring week of action. An occasion that has become especially salient amidst sexual assault awareness month, SASA has compiled a week full of events in support of survivors of sexual assault. 

If you are interested in attending any of the SASA hosted events this week, or learning more about the collaboration between SASA and SAAC, check out their Instagram for more information. 

Emma Swett is a sports reporter for The Beacon and can be reached at