On Tuesday, September 25, the Deborah L. Coffin Women’s Center will be operating an event called Take Back the Night on the Green Space at 7 p.m. Take Back the Night is a non-profit organization as well as an international event that is meant to consolidate participants against relationship, sexual and domestic violence in all forms. Campuses across the country organize marches, rallies and vigils to demonstrate a unified front against the violence and sexual misconduct that takes place in all college communities.
This year, SNHU’s event will feature guest speaker Kyla Lacey, followed by a student-led march around campus. Students will be able to make posters and signs to bring with them on the march, and there are usually chants throughout it. There will also be a photo booth available.
Director of the Women’s Center Brooke Gilmore commented on the response that Take Back the Night has gotten in the past, saying, “Take Back the Night seems to get bigger every year with more students, staff and faculty attending and taking part in the event. Sexual violence is a heavy, difficult topic for many people to confront so sometimes people are hesitant or resistant to join in, but largely we feel that the events have been successful and have reached a lot of our community with an important message.”
Many clubs and organizations have partnered with the Women’s Center to ensure a safe and supportive environment for the event. The Wellness Center will be on hand with counselors to help any participants who may feel triggered by discussions or who need resources to help themselves or a friend. The Women’s Center has also partnered with RadioSNHU, who will be providing music for the event. International Student Services, Student Government Association, Generation Equality, MSU, the Athletic Department and the Greek community are also partners who often come and show their support.
With sexual assault being one of the most under-reported crimes on college campuses due to fear of judgement, it is important for SNHU to show solidarity against these acts so that survivors know that they will be safe.
“For me, Take Back The Night is one of those signature college experiences, and my participation in Take Back the Night events while I was an undergrad truly influenced my life and helped to spark a passion in me to bring awareness to these issues,” Gilmore said. “I think it sets an incredibly powerful tone for the year and lets survivors and potential future survivors know that we have their back and we do not tolerate sexual violence and the culture that perpetuates it here.”
Gilmore encourages all students to attend this event so that they can experience this “long-standing SNHU tradition” and help show their support.