Needmore, Pennsylvania


University Dancers, watching movies, exploring Richmond

About Me

Take Back the Night and Title IX

April 21, 2013

  Last Tuesday night, UR hosted a very important event - Take Back the Night.  Hosted by the campus SAVE Project (Sexual Assault and Violence Education), Take Back the Night is an event dedicated to hearing the stories of survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence.  At the end of the evening, there was candle-light vigil held to honor survivors and victims who have been affected by sexual/domestic violence.  The topic of sexual assault is very important to college campuses because of the statistics that report that 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career. Almost every university in the in the nation has been recently (within the last two years) reviewing the Title IX policy and creating programs to educate the student body about Title IX and sexual violence in the college world.  At UR, the administration recently required all women in Greek life to attend a Title IX/Bystander Effect workshop.  I believe the hope is that by next Spring, the entire school population will have gone through this workshop and be knowledgeable about Title IX, sexual assault, and how to not be a Bystander.

  I was very impressed by the Title IX workshop that was Led by Dean Fankhauser and Dean Fabian.  Although it was a heavy subject and almost every woman on campus knows someone who has been affected by sexual assault or relationship violence, it was a great opportunity to hear how the administration handles sexual assault cases according to Title IX.  What I gained from it was a better understanding of what is defined under Title IX and the total process of reported cases.

  This brings me back to Take Back the Night. Sitting for three hours in the Forum in the middle of campus, I heard stories from some women who I know and some women who I’ve never met. These stories, sometimes in the forms of poetry, were about their pasts and experiences with sexual assault, harassment, and relationship violence. It’s heart-wrenching to hear friends, or people that you see every day, talk about their hurt and pain, but when they leave almost every single one of them looked like they had a huge weight lifted from their shoulders.  That’s what Take Back the Night is about. It’s about confronting the issue, it’s about standing up for certain choices that only we as individuals have the right to make ourselves.

  Now please don’t think that Richmond is a terrible place because of all the talk about sexual assault, I would hope that is not what anyone would gain from this post. Sexual assault is very real and (I’m going to assume from the impact that the Dear Colleague Letter of 2011 had on government-funded institutions) is present on almost every college campus. Administrations, and especially the administration at UR, are finally confronting these issues and helping to protect every student from these acts and assist them if they choose to report it. I’m proud to be at a university that is clearly open about talking about such an important topic that greatly affects many women my age.

I’m currently a sophomore at the University of Richmond and interested in Dance and Sociology. I applied Early Decision to Richmond because it had such a great mix of everything I was looking for academically and holds a deep appreciation for the arts. When I’m at school you can usually find me dancing in Frederick Rehearsal Hall, enjoying my study time in Boatwright Memorial Library, or trying to entertain my roommate with my jokes and facial expressions. Cookies are my favorite food, though macaroni and cheese is a close second. I am a part of the University Dancers for a second year in a row - and I love it! Something interesting about me: a major goal of mine is to be on the ‘Jeopardy’ show.