Campus rallies against sexual assault

By Nicki Briggs

Writer

Students, staff and administrators took a stand “for a better Bucknell” by participating in “Take Back the Night,” an effort to spread awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence, especially as it relates to improving the University’s campus climate.

Thursday Nov. 10 began with “The Double-Take Project,” a performance directed by Christina Cody ’12 that told personal stories from students who had approached her earlier in the semester. These students offered different perspectives of life at the University and of their experiences with sexual violence on campus. The room was somber when President John Bravman stepped up to the microphone after the last story was told.

“Look what’s happened just 70 miles from here, in the last 10 days,” Bravman said, referring to the recent incidents at Penn State and how they occurred as a result of powerful men choosing not to speak publicly of the mistakes made by their colleagues.

“[The truth] always comes out in the end,” he said.

Bravman made it very clear that he has no intention for the University to ignore its own issues. “There are only two types of schools in the country.  Those that have the issues we do and refuse to talk about them, and those that have the problems we do and will do their best to fix them and become stronger because it,” Bravman said.  “We will talk about this publicly for as long as it takes to fix it.”

Student leaders also gave speeches, including Interfraternity Council president Michael Higgins ’12, Panhallenic president Anna MacAlister ’12 and Bucknell Student Government president Phil Kim ’12. Each speaker sent a different message to the assembly, and each was met with silence as the power of their words settled.

“There are three things you can do,” Mollie Morris ’12 said, as she spoke about how small changes can help others to feel more comfortable on campus.  “You can listen, you can support, and you can believe.”

MacAlister spoke about sexual violence at the University. 

“We are all equally responsible to make sure that no one on campus feels unsafe,” she said.  She went on to share shocking statistics about sexual violence on campus and to provide examples that illustrated her message.

The night concluded in a silent walk down to Smith quad from the Weis Center for the Performing Arts. 

“We march now, so that we may not have to march again in the future,” Kim said.

Various campus a cappella groups were stationed at different spots along the walk. They sang as students walked until they reached the Academic Quad and formed a circle where they could see all of the other students who had chosen to walk “for a Better Bucknell.”

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