Taking back our campus

A crowd of over 100 students, faculty and other supporters gathered in the amphitheatre as the sun set on Thursday.With the current alleged sexual assaults on campus, the women’s studies group decided to hold a “Take Back the Night” event to show support among students and faculty; however, this one held a more somber attitude than previous ones.

“We are holding a silent protest here tonight because sometimes actions speak louder than words,” said Yvette Furnia, women’s issue group member.

Linda Olson, a women’s studies professor, commented on how Public Safety needs to step up its actions in order to make the campus safer.

Olson had much to say to both women and men in the crowd. Olson further explained the severity of the current issues and explained how more people are affected by the assaults than people realize.

Jessica Dewes, Castleton student, came away from Olson’s speech fired up.

“Everything she said was true,” she said about Olson’s suggestion that Public Safety should have an officer escort for a female within seconds rather than minutes.

Dewes also agreed that it was devastating that it took recent events for people to realize that rape happened on this campus and to Castleton’s students.

After the comments from Olson, a very quiet crowd squeezed together atop the campus amphitheater as Olson and fellow volunteers passed out signs ranging from “Not on our campus” and “Rape is a hate crime” and helped one another get their candles lit.

Once everyone’s candles were burning bright, the crowd marched behind Olson and fellow professors who held a bright “Take Back the Night” banner.

The crowd marched on with faces of mixed emotions; some smiling because of all those who came out to support, and some with looks of sadness and sorrow.

The crowd continued across campus to South Street, and then proceeded to march to the distant parking lot where the alleged attacks took place. Someone in the crowd said, “Wow, we’re where it happened.”

After a quiet loop of the fairly vacant lot, the crowd was back on the South Street to make a loop of the campus.

The march was concluded with a speak-out hosted by Furnia, where students could voice their feelings on the current or past sexual assaults.

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