MSMC Takes Back the Night

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/msmc_photos/sets/72157687208666724/with/23520297408/

By: Claudia Larsen

Over 200 students and faculty rallied together on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. for the second annual “Take Back the Night” event at the Dominican Center.

Sponsored by The Division of Student Affairs and the Title IX Office, “Take Back the Night” is a yearly campus event that aims to spread awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence. The event is a product of the It’s On Us campaign, a national campaign focused on college and university campuses that works to bring awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence, and ultimately end it. Students are encouraged to take the pledge in solidarity of survivors at www.itsonus.org.

Each year the event begins with a featured speaker and this year’s was Brenda Tracy. Tracy experienced sexual assault first hand on a college campus in 1998, and is now an activist/lobbyist who works nationwide to educate college students and fight for the rights of survivors. More of her story can be read on her website at www.brendatracy.com.

Following the featured speaker came the Speak Out, where anyone who wishes to share may tell the story of their personal experience(s) with sexual assault and domestic violence. Only one student participated this year, telling a very personal and moving story that resulted in the applause of the whole crowd.

All members of the crowd, students and faculty alike, then gathered together and marched across the campus. Some held candles, some held bags with glow sticks inside that had positive messages written on them and some held signs with messages such as “We are taking back the night!” The march is a symbol of solidarity for all survivors, and means to send the message that MSMC will support survivors however possible.

If you or someone you know is struggling with sexual assault or domestic violence, you can contact Counseling Services at 845-569-3115, email them at counseling@msmc.edu or drop into the offices at Aquinas 306. Students can also contact the Title IX coordinator at 845-569-3597 or email them at TitleIXCoordinator@msmc.edu.