By Adam Hornbuckle
The second annual Take Back the Night event will be held on Thursday, March 30 at 7 p.m. in the Pratt Recreation Center. “Take back the night is an event that we’re putting on to raise awareness of sexual assault on college campuses; it’s the second year we’re doing this and it’s mainly to get the word out and start a conversation that needs to be had on every college campus,” sophomore film major Chris O’Connell, a member of the Take Back the Night committee, said.
The doors for the event will open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will begin at 7 p.m. The event will consist of a keynote speaker, student performances and a survivor speakout. The survivor speakout will be a time for survivors of sexual assault to share their story if they choose to. Survivors are welcome to tell their story for themselves or they can write down their story prior to the event and it will be read for them by members of the Take Back the Night committee. The event will be capped off with a march around campus to literally take back the night. The event is free of charge.
“The speak out is my favorite part of the event because it’s just such a beautiful break in the event for everyone to come together in solidarity,” sophomore music education major Theresa Kelly, the chairperson of the Take Back the Night committee, said.“It pairs nicely with the march as we literally take back the night and show that LIU Post students do not stand for sexual assault and relationship violence,” she added.
Take Back the Night is a national event that raises awareness and sometimes funds for sexual assault and domestic violence. The event first debuted on the Post campus in Spring 2016 and was warmly received by about 300 students in a packed Hillwood Lecture Hall. “My goal for this event in the long term is for it to be as prominent an event as Relay for Life; we’re on our way there. Last year we filled the lecture hall with close to 300 attendees. This year we are anticipating more than 500 in the Pratt Center,” Kelly said.
The event will be open to LIU Post students, as well as students from New York Institute of Technology. There are also several events that were held in the lead-up to Take Back the Night, including a screening of The Hunting Ground, a free self defense course and an event called Clothesline for Courage where students decorated shirts that will be hung up in Hillwood.