Take Back the Night inspires campus

Olivia Seecof

Take Back the Night, which occurred on Oct. 18, has grown to become an anticipated and highly respected event on the University’s campus with growing participation each year. Hundreds of students filled the science quad to participate in the rally. This event, originating in Philadelphia in 1975, has been taking place for many years.

“The roots of Take Back the Night lie in the issues of sexual and intimate partner violence, the voices of survivors and the voices of students who are taking a stand on our campus,” Tracy Shaynak, Director of the Women’s Resource Center, said.

This year, the Speak UP Bucknell Peer Education Program in conjunction with the Women’s Resource Center worked together to plan the event.

“The students were really involved in the planning. There was a committee of students who worked with Tracy Shaynak for about a month and a half to plan the whole event,” Stephanie Gonthier ’15, a member of Speak UP Bucknell, said.

“These are not easy issues to discuss, but we know we cannot make a difference without student ownership, dedication and commitment. Having the opportunity to work with students who are willing to help us address these issues head-on is incredibly valuable,” Shaynak said.

The event included students reading excerpts of stories as well as inspirational thoughts.  It then concluded with a walk around campus with students carrying glow sticks: teal for sexual assault and purple for domestic violence. During the walk, the campus a capella groups sang.

“I always love singing at Take Back the Night. It’s such a great cause and I was honored to be a part of it. It is awesome seeing our campus joining together,” Allison Gibson ’13, a member of the Offbeats, said.

“I think that Take Back the Night says what almost no other event on campus can.  To me, Take Back the Night tells anyone who is suffering the effects of sexual violence that there are hundreds of people who care and will take time out of their nights, forget about their exam the next day, maybe lose some extra sleep and often relive memories they don’t want to have just to be there and support you,” Will Evans ’14 said.

“I am grateful to all of the students who spoke at Take Back the Night, and hope that this event and others will help us continue the dialogue as we all work together to address the issues facing our campus community,” Shaynak said.

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