On Wednesday, April 25, Alfred State College will participate in “Take Back the Night,” an internationally held march and rally intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual violence. The main event will start in Orvis Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. with speaker Stephanie Greiner, a powerful advocate who shares her personal story to educate others. In the summer of 1997 during her sophomore year of college, Stephanie – while she was under the influence of alcohol – was sexually assaulted by someone with whom she worked. In the weeks following the attack, she questioned her judgment, whether it was really sexual assault, and how she was going to get past the experience. Since then, Stephanie has been dedicated to researching and presenting on the topic of sexual assault, especially sexual assault peer education, in hopes that she can have her voice heard and help students make healthy decisions about alcohol use and relationship issues. It is a discouraging but true fact that one in four college women will be sexually assaulted before she graduate from college.
After the presentation by Ms. Greiner, the Take Back the Night March will begin at 8:15 p.m. Led by Alfred Steppas, participants will march through Alfred State campus, chanting and rallying against rape and sexual violence. Materials will be available in the Orvis 2nd Floor Lobby for anyone who would want to create a poster to carry on the March. The March will start at the Orvis 2nd Floor Lobby and end at Townhouse Commons.
The March will be followed at 8:45 by a Speak-out, where individuals will have an opportunity to share stories, poetry, and feelings about rape and sexual assault. Educational materials and light refreshments will be available.
Earlier in the day, there will be a free self-defense class offered from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Orvis Mat Room. In collaboration with Victim Services Community Action and S.O.S., participants will learn new skills and information on victim rights. Space is limited, so to register, call Beth Desotell at (585) 593-4685. In conjunction with the Self-Defense Class, educational sessions on Date & Acquaintance Rape and Victim Rights will take place. This portion is open to all and participants do not need to register.
Take Back the Night will be taking place on scores college campus all across the United States, on April 25th, to show solidarity amongst college students.
This event is sponsored by Kaleidoscope Coalition, Student Activities, Student Senate, Newman Club, University Police, and Health Services & Wellness Center. “Take Back the Night” also wouldn’t be possible without the following departments and agencies: Greek Senate, Cattaraugus Community Action (CCA), Residence Life Hall Councils, Athletics, Students Organization for Services (S.O.S.), and Alfred Steppas.
A display of flags representing victims of sexual assault and rape set up at Florida International University at 2011’s “Take Back the Night” event.