Educating students about sexual assault and discrimination was the goal as Shippensburg University hosted “Take back the night” on April 4.
Three years ago, Shippensburg University began the “Ship Says No More,” a campaign to empower students and condemn violence, discrimination and sexual assault. Now, campaign posters are commonplace around campus.
The women’s center, the counseling center and domestic violence services were present at the event.
Another group present was “Damsel in Defense,” a company which sells self-defense products for women.
As students sat, a crackling noise could be heard that sounded like some form of plastic grinding against something.
Students shortly realized it was a handheld electric stun weapon being tested.
At the event, a new Ship Says No More video debuted, created by Mary Grace Keller, former editor-in-chief of The Slate.
The video consisted of several students, each with a statement to make involving the No More campaign.
SU’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Roger Serr, was one of many speakers at the event, who talked about the community.
He said the definition of a community is a place where everyone feels validated, everyone has worth and everyone feels safe.
“It should be our goal to denounce violence of all forms,” Serr said.
Andrew Melinda also spoke, and gave statistics from the book “Everyday Sexism,” by Laura Bates. The event also featured a performance by SU’s Dance Troupe.
Six students in purple dresses came on stage, and performed a dance routine.
Others spoke after the dance, and one speaker quizzed the audience on the definition and aspects of consent. With such questions such as what is consent. “How do you get it?” “How if any alcohol is present in a person’s body, they cannot properly give consent?”
An analogy about getting consent was to compare it to borrowing a car.
You cannot just keep taking the car over and over again after getting permission for one day.
After the rally ended, the march began. Led by Ali Laughman, Olivia Hunt, Rashad Curtis and Miyumic Fair, the group moved around campus, chanting a mantra.
“I thought take back the night was a beautiful opportunity for the Shippensburg University community to come together and recognize a potent issue,” student Kyle Gearity said.
“To see men and women come together to comfort and inform the community was refreshing to see in the current political climate.”
After circling from the CUB to the Huber Art Center and passing the Ezra Memorial Library, the group returned to the CUB amphitheater.
Upon the return, an open microphone was set up so victims of abuse could tell their stories.