Hundreds rally to end sexual violence at Take Back the Night
About 400 students and community members marched, chanted and shared their stories on campus on Monday during Take Back the Night, an event to speak out against sexual violence.
The UA's OASIS program hosted the annual event in collaboration with other campus organizations such as the Women's Resource Center and Fraternity & Sorority Programs. The march went from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center to the Women's Plaza of Honor, where various speakers explained the importance of ending sexual violence.
Keynote speaker Emily May, founder of Hollaback, a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology, said that the event was proof that people around the world are taking action to make a world without sexual violence.
""The revolution (against sexual violence) will be built by badasses,"" she said. ""This was very, very badass.""
May explained that sharing stories of sexual violence is the start to creating change and awareness and that every individual has the right to define themselves on their own terms.
""It's not a game of hot or not,"" she added.
Multiple organizations tabled at the event included Campus Health Service, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, ASUA Pride Alliance, the Vagina Warriors, Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood, the Dean of Students Office and more. The tables offered items like snow cones, popcorn, condoms and rape whistles for participants to take.
Carl Segal, a marketing sophomore, came with his fellow Delta Chi fraternity members and said that he did so in order to show support for the good causes that the campus brings.
""It's important for a large group to come in order to shell an impact,"" he said.
Alexis Edwards, president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and an elementary education senior, said that this was the second year she attended Take Back the Night. She liked that the community came together for the event.
""We as women need to take a stance and stand up for our rights,"" she said. ""No means no.""
In addition to the march and guest speakers, the event included ""Survivor Speak-outs,"" which allowed survivors of sexual violence to share their stories with the community.
""One hundred voices are greater than one voice, but one voice is still strong,"" said Liza Pluto, a communications sophomore who attended the march.