Students join in solidarity against sexual assault

Brianna Marshall, Senior Writer

The Women’s Resource Center and Speak UP Bucknell presented the second annual Take Back the Night on Oct. 30 in the Smith Quad. This event promotes an end to sexual violence and support for survivors of sexual assault.

Take Back the Night is an international effort with events held in over 30 countries. San Francisco hosted the first Take Back the Night demonstration in 1973 and similar gatherings have been outlets for female empowerment ever since.

Last week students gathered to hear various perspectives, including stories from survivors and advocates. A nearly silent crowd listened, respecting the strength of those willing to share their most sensitive and personal experiences. The student presence was overwhelmingly compassionate, emphasizing the goal of reducing the helplessness of sexual assault survivors and working to protect others from these unfortunate circumstances.

While attendance was overwhelmingly female, there was a significant amount of male students present, a fact that was noted by University President John Bravman as he addressed the crowd. Emphasizing the role of the male student body in finding a solution to campus sexual assault, Bravman lamented the need for Take Back the Night year after year.

“We need to do better,” Bravman said.

“The powerful speakers brought us all together proving sexual assault is not just a Greek problem, a girl problem, or a University problem. It’s a global one and ending it starts here, with every one of us marching together and united,” Lisa Ercolano ’15 said.

The evening concluded after sundown with a march around campus. The glowstick-lit procession symbolized a concrete reclaiming of the night. Although dark outside, safety did not disappear. The march serves as a reminder and an example of what every night could be without the threat of sexual assault.

“I found it to be a very moving experience to hear first hand accounts of sexual assault from within our own community. Walking the streets through campus as a unified student body really showed of support from our community on the issue,” Maria Jones ’15 said.

(Visited 234 times, 1 visits today)