By Benjamin Engle
As part of Take Back the Night, a nationwide event to raise awareness of sexual violence against women, the Safe Space club is sponsoring a campus walk and “speak out” that will take place on Thursday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m.
The march will begin at the Nott Memorial, where participants will receive T-shirts and pins, and will make stops at each Minerva House.
At each Minerva, a different line from the sexual assault pledge will be read. The march and speak out are free and open to the entire campus community.
According to Nicole Abrams ’11, co-president of Safe Space, the goal of Take Back the Night is to educate students about sexual violence because “some people don’t realize what it is or its existence on campus.”
The march will incorporate the newly revised Sexual Assault Reporting Procedures and Policy, which has been in effect since the beginning of spring term.
Organizers of the event hope to further educate students and promote consciousness about victims and accused persons.
Despite the revised procedures and policies, Abrams believes that sexual violence is not limited to any gathering.
“It can happen at any time, any place, any fraternity, and any social event,” she said.
The march around campus will finish at Old Chapel, where participants will be able to contribute to the speak out.
The speak out is intended to be an open platform for survivors to share personal experiences and History Professor Andrea Foroughi and Rachel Mayer ’12 will discuss the Sexual Assault Bill of Rights.
“Take Back the Night is to remember these people who went through such tragic events. They deserve respect and deserve a right for [other students] to listen. Past and future victims deserve [students’] willingness to prevent [sexual assault] in the future and take it as seriously as it is,” said Abrams, who encourages all students to participate alongside their fellow students and to further support victims of sexual assault and violence.
More information about the Union College sexual assault policy can be found at http://www.union.edu/sart/support/index.php. Interested students can contact Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org.