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RISE Takes Back the Night with crafts, snacks and most importantly, awareness

By Alexander Mousa, Editor-in-Chief

RISE, one of Post’s newest clubs, brought activism and awareness to the center of Hillwood Commons on the evening of Monday, April 22 with their second annual Take Back the Night event. 

RISE, introduced to Post in the fall of 2022, hosts many engaging and informational events aimed at spreading awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as supporting victims of these crimes. 

Take Back the Night featured tabling from many organizations around Long Island committed to protecting people, such as The Safe Center LI, which had a member of their organization speak to students in The Gold Coast Cinema during the event.

Junior business administration major Emily Anderson, who serves on RISE’s Events Committee, spoke about the importance of Take Back the Night, RISE’s work and support for victims of violence.

“We have a lot of resources here, a lot of table tabling from outside resources,” Anderson said. “A lot of on-campus organizations are involved too, like the SGA is here. We have a couple of different stands just promoting who they are to show support. At 6:30, they’re having somebody from The Safe Center Long Island speak, just to say what they do, and what our campus could do to get better.”

Take Back the Night began with refreshments in the Fishbowl with clubs tabling right outside. Students were able to learn about on-campus clubs as well as the aforementioned outside organizations that joined the event. RISE had tables selling tote bags, t-shirts and raffle tickets to raise money for their cause. 

Photo credits: @liupostrise on Instagram

While many things were happening in the center of Hillwood, there were also rooms set up for attendees to join and spend time with fellow students.

In The Student Body Collective, students learned the story behind Denim Day. Denim Day observes the outrage behind a 1998 Italian Supreme Court ruling in favor of a man who argued that the teenager he sexually assaulted must have taken her jeans off to let him assault her since the jeans were tight. This ruling was overturned in 2008 when the Italian Supreme Court ruled that there is no longer a “denim defense” for a rape charge.

Other rooms included arts and crafts, such as stickering notebooks and decorating lanterns. These rooms provided a calm, safe environment for students to relax and get to know one another.

Another room featured STD testing from Northwell Health, one of Long Island’s largest healthcare providers. Students were able to have their HIV and Hepatitis C status checked in a private, clean setting.

Take Back the Night was previously held at Post prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic, the event did not return to the campus and RISE offered to help run it in 2023.

“RISE basically took it over as our event,” Anderson said. “This is year two, and we did it all by ourselves. Obviously a billion other organizations are here. We have campus organizations, but this was just RISE planning it.”

Take Back the Night concluded with a candle-lit march around campus. Students marched and participated in chants, affirming their solidarity with survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Anderson says that the march allowed for RISE’s message to be heard by students all across campus.

When speaking about the goals of the event, Anderson shared that the main takeaway that RISE wants for students is awareness.

“I hope that if anybody is struggling with what we’re trying to raise awareness for, that they are able to find some resources, or if they know somebody, they can pass that on,” she said. “We also just want general awareness, so if your own club is trying to look for an event to hold, maybe bring an aspect into that. Also for personal lives as well, just so you can be aware of it with your friends. It’s awareness, truly. We just want people to know that there are resources, there are options and there’s support.”

RISE’s next Take Back the Night will be held next school year, as well as many other engaging events. RISE is always open to new members. More information can be found on Instagram at @liupostrise.

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