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We Have the Power to Take Back the Night

One of the least talked about and most uncomfortable topics for college students is the topic of sexual assault and sexual violence.

When instances of sexual assault take place, victims are told to keep silent and push it aside like it never happened. It’s time that survivors of sexual assault stand up and share their stories, rather than keeping quiet and letting them build up inside. Approximately 23.1% of female undergraduates and 5.4% of male undergraduate students have experienced sexual assault, through force, violence, or incapacitation. 

The Gustavus chapter of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority hopes to open up the discussion and allow a safe space for students to speak out about sexual assault with knowledge that other students on campus will support them. AST will be hosting their second annual Take Back the Night event on April 27th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall. The event is part of AST’s Philanthropy Week for Sexual Assault and Violence Awareness Month. The Alpha Sigma Tau national philanthropy is Women’s Wellness, and our local philanthropy we work closely with the Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) in Mankato and Saint Peter.

Take Back the Night is an event that has been held in over 30 countries worldwide, and at over 600 communities and campuses. Over 30 million people have heard the message of putting an end to sexual assault and violence the Take Back the Night. 

The event is meant to spread awareness about sexual assault and sexual violence, as well as give individuals a safe space to share their survivor stories. We can put an end to sexual violence by sharing survivor stories and speaking out, rather than keeping silent. Members of AST will be tabling throughout the week of April 24th-27th outside of the caf to promote Take Back the Night, as well as collect hygiene products to help those affected by sexual assault and violence in our local area, which will be donated to CADA.

Take Back the Night will start off with an introduction from AST President, Kiersten Bredeson, and V.P. of Community Relations, Bailey Krumwiede. A speaker from CADA will then share information about their organization and how they help those affected by sexual violence in the Saint Peter and Mankato area.

For our featured speaker, we are very excited to host University of Minnesota Student Ali Miller who created the I Am Movement. Ali will be talking about the movement she started, as well as sharing her sexual assault survivor story. We will then hold an open forum for those who feel moved to share their stories as well. A Gustavus counselor will be present at the event for anyone who might need someone else to speak with.  There will be pizza and Frost-Your-Owns for everyone to enjoy, followed by the I Am Movement. Ali will be available to take pictures for those who wish to share their stories through her movement. Check out some of the stories that have been shared through the I Am Movement, and Ali’s video explaining the I Am Movement for more info.

Come up and chat with the AST’s outside of the caf April 24th-27th to learn more about Take Back the Night, CADA, and Sexual Assault and Violence Awareness, or to help us gather donations of hygiene products for CADA. Alpha Sigma Tau hopes to see many of you at Take Back the Night on April 27th.

Always remember to speak out and never be silent. Together with our voices, we can end sexual assault and violence.

Kristi is a sophomore at Gustavus Adolphus College where she is pursuing a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Music. At Gustavus, Kristi is involved in the instrumental and vocal music programs, and is a news writer for the on-campus newspaper, The Gustavian Weekly. A few of her favorite things include: cats, cake, watching sitcoms, and spending time with friends and family.
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