Students, Faculty Rally to “Take Back The Night”

Posted: April 4, 2014

In an effort to bring awareness to and protest against rape and sexual violence, Gannon University will host a "Take Back the Night" rally Monday, April 7 from 7-9p.m. The rally will begin in Perry Square and will continue through various on- and off-campus locations.

This demonstration brings together Gannon students, faculty and staff members, as well as various community partners throughout the Erie area. Last year, the event drew more than 200 persons who rallied to speak out against the violence and to raise community awareness to create a safer campus and city atmosphere.

Speakers who will address the rally include provost and vice president for academic affairs, Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., RN, Katie Allison, coordinator for violence prevention, and Jessica Hubert, assistant director at the Center for Social Concerns and numerous student leaders.

The evening ends with a moment of silence, where participants share personal memories or stories to remember survivors, or honor a survivor by raising their candles and saying their first name aloud.

Allison said the event is extremely symbolic and a way for people to come together. "By walking together in solidarity, sharing stories and gaining a better understanding of the culture of sexual assault and violence, we hope the messages clearly resonates with all who attend that these events are real, and happen to people we know and love," she said. "We also want students to know that they have a built-in support system through the university, family and friends. In spite of this dark issue, there is hope."

The event is sponsored by Gannon University organizations, including the chapter of Students Against Violence Everywhere (S.A.V.E.), the Center for Social Concerns, Fraternity and Sorority Life in collaboration with the City of Erie, Student Government Association, Knight Life, Res Life, the Social Work club, the Criminal Justice club, Activities Planning Board, and the Erie-Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability (Erie-GAINS). Participating community organizations include the Crime Victim Center of Erie County and SafeNet's Domestic Violence Network, and the Office of the Erie County District Attorney.