Students and faculty began to take back the night Monday with a noon rally in Storke Plaza, kicking off a week of sexual assault awareness.
Approximately 100 students attended the opening Take Back the Night (TBTN) rally in Storke Plaza to hear the band Buttcheek Doofus and various speakers talk about rape and sexual assault. This year, TBTN, an international weeklong movement to stop sexual assaults, is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The week’s goal is to present a forum for people to openly discuss issues of rape and sex crimes, UCSB TBTN Co-Chair Tara Goddard said.
“Come out, participate and discuss,” she said. “Your voice will be heard.”
Goddard said she was impressed with the turnout at Monday’s event, especially as it coincided with the numerous Spring Insight tours that serve to orient potential UCSB students to the campus.
“The kick-off rally really sets the tone for our whole week as far as getting our message out there,” she said. “We have Spring Insight people coming by. It’s fun to give people a taste of what’s going on with TBTN before they’ve even started school here.”
Volunteers from UCSB’s chapter of TBTN sold T-shirts displaying this year’s theme: “Rising from the Ashes: Empower, Educate, Evolve,” and CDs featuring the music of TBTN performers.
Junior psychology major Sunitha Chandy, a member of the Gaucho Christian Fellowship, said it is important for people from all communities to come together to fight sexual assault and rape.
“We haven’t been sharing how sexual assault affects us,” Chandy said. “It affects all of us.”
Lauren Hansen, a junior communication major and Alpha Phi sorority member, said it is time for those involved in the Greek system to join forces with organizations like TBTN. “We should put our differences under a rug and work together for this great cause,” she said.
Sociology instructor and speaker Judy Taylor said heterosexual women have a responsibility to all females to be more active than they traditionally have been. Taylor emphasized the need for women to stop gossiping about one another in order to allow for the unity of women.
“Lesbians have done more for straight women than straight women have done for themselves,” she said.
Jeff Bucholtz, a member of UCSB’s Men Against Rape, emphasized the need to let women speak.
“Take Back the Night is not about men, except that men need to take responsibility for sexual assault,” Bucholtz said. “Women are raped by men; men need to help to stop sexual assault.”
Monday’s event began a weeklong series of speakers, workshops and musical performances. TBTN Performance Chair Stephanie Molen said she encourages everyone in the UCSB community to attend one of the activities.
“There are a lot of creative moments where people will have the opportunity to heal and educate,” Molen said.
Today, TBTN will host a sexual assault panel at the MultiCultural Center at noon, followed by a performance night and open mic at 7 p.m.