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Student protestors in Columbia, Mo., hold signs at a protest against sexual assault and rape on campus.
Original photo by Mara Dumitru
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PSA’s Slut Walk Amplifies Victim’s Voices

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault

A crowd of protesters gathered in front of McKeldin Library on Oct. 22 to participate in the University of Maryland’s annual Slut Walk. Protesters carried signs reading “President Pines is complicit” as they marched across campus, chanting “no means no.” 

“It’s our responsibility as the student body to raise our voices and let our school know that we’re not going to back down,” Preventing Sexual Assault President Hailey Chaikin told the crowd. “And that we’re not going to stop fighting until real changes are made.”

The Slut Walk is PSA’s response to President Darryll Pines’ dismissal of the seriousness of sexual assault in University of Maryland Greek life. Pines spoke to the Diamondback earlier this month on the subject saying, “I don’t think we have a big problem here in Greek life.” 

“To see someone who’s in a position of power take such a little regard for people’s trauma at this campus,” protester Isabella Brown said. “I understand that President Pines has a job to do, but it does not excuse pretending that something doesn’t exist.”

Once outside the Administration Building, speakers read anonymous stories from victims of assault on campus. “It was a very heavy moment, for sure,” protester Maggie Staudenmaier said. “It was very hard to hear, but it’s very real and I think it’s important for everyone to hear.”

Pines’ dismissal of sexual assault victims of campus continues to leave a bad taste in student’s mouths. 

“This campus is letting rapists get away with violating the rights of another human being, and making the victim suffer,” Chaikin said. “The rapist should never feel more comfortable walking around this campus than survivors.”

The reality for victims of sexual assault on campus came to light during the Slut Walk as speakers amplified anonymous submissions from victims of sexual assault. Several calls for administration to work harder to protect their students were made from protesters throughout the demonstration.

Representatives from the Campus Advocates Respond and Educate to Stop Violence organization attended the march and let protesters know about their free resources and assistance for victims of sexual assault. 

“CARES is one of the few resources on campus for sexual assault,” Danica Choi, a peer advocate with CARES, said. “So I think it’s important, especially when we’re talking about it, that we share these resources for people who want to talk about it.”

“But now take it upon yourself to go beyond and think about the way you think about sexual assault and what you can actively do to make change on our campus.” Chaikin said at the closing of the rally.

Lucy Hubbard

Maryland '24

Sophomore at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism
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