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Take Back the Night with RISE and the SGA on April 17

By Amisha Temal, Staff Writer

RISE and the Student Government Association will host Take Back the Night (TBTN), an event focused on sexual assault and domestic violence awareness on Monday, April 17 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. TBTN will take place on the first floor of Hillwood Commons, and have many activities for students to participate in, including tabling from nonprofit organizations and students organizations, food, raffles, a poetry slam and a candlelit march against sexual violence. The goals for the event are to empower survivors and educate the campus on various topics. 

“Events like Take Back the Night are important because they are a way to bring the community together and empower students by showing them that their voices and rights matter as well as educating them on the resources at their disposal,” senior health sciences major and Historian of RISE Ruiz said. “There is a community there to support them and stand by them. I am very proud of all the things this organization [RISE] has and will accomplish. I hope this organization will become a pillar of support on campus that students can rely on. I look forward to seeing everyone at Take Back the Night on the 17th.” 

RISE is a student-run organization at Post centered around social advocacy and philanthropy. It was established during the fall 2022 semester. RISE emphasizes sexual assault education, prevention and awareness. The organization aims to increase the distribution of essential resources on campus. RISE membership is open to all students at Post. Past meetings have involved themes of self-care, mental health, mindfulness and creativity. 

Ruiz spoke on the organization’s importance and goals. 

“RISE’s core purpose is to promote safety, knowledge and resources for our students on our campus. Being informed and aware is very important to protect oneself. I think that having quick responses from public safety, access to counseling, and easy access to knowledge about Title IX and the LIU Sexual Misconduct Policy can benefit the students on the LIU Post campus,” Ruiz said. “Attending RISE meetings and events like Take Back the Night can benefit many students at LIU by helping them gain knowledge of their rights as students, resources available to them on and off campus, education on healthy relationships, and exercises and skills that can aid in mindfulness and self-insight.”

The Take Back the Night Foundation (TBTNF) has been spreading awareness and preventing sexual assault globally for over 40 years. The organization grew in the 70s during the spike in violence against women in America. Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles were heavily involved in the organization’s earlier protests. As a result, advocates in these states received an accumulation of media coverage. The initial objective of the organization was to increase women’s sense of safety when walking alone at night. This initiative was prompted by the fatal stabbing of microbiologist Susan Alexander Speeth as she commuted home from work late at night. She was 37 years old and only a block away from her home when she was attacked. After Speeth was attacked, Philadelphia residents mobilized and a Women’s Tribunal Council was formed in 40 countries to discuss women’s and intimate partner violence. As time progressed, the TBTNF tackled more intersectional women’s issues through protests, rallies and marches. 

Today, In addition to women’s violence, the organization advocates for male and gender non-conforming individuals who have experienced sexual assault. Many cases of adolescent sexual assault occur on college campuses. A high incidence of sexual assault can be attributed to drugs, alcohol, binge drinking and party culture. 

In a study conducted by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol (Mohler-Kuo, M., Dowdall, G., Koss, M., & Wechsler, H.), 1 in 20 women reported being raped in college 7 months after they started their first year. Three-quarters of those cases involved the victim being intoxicated. Therefore, they were not able to consent or refuse any sexual activities or intercourse. It was revealed that students who lived on campus in sorority or fraternity houses were more likely to be assaulted than students living off campus. Women from colleges with medium and high binge-drinking rates had an increased chance of being raped while intoxicated than those from colleges with low binge-drinking rates. Women who had experience with binge drinking in high school had an increased likelihood of rape while intoxicated.

According to an estimation made by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G.), for every 1,000 women attending a college or university yearly, 35 incidents of rape occur. Less than 5 percent of sexual assaults or attempted rape is reported to law enforcement after. 

Junior international business and finance major Emma Thibodeau is the current vice president of RISE. She spoke on what to expect at Take Back the Night. 

“Take Back the Night is going to be our biggest event of the year. It’s essentially a resource fair where different organizations from off-campus, as well as on-campus clubs, are going to table. There will be hand-outs and various activities to do. You have the option to meet people, gather valuable resources, play games, eat food, watch a movie, experience a poetry slam, learn about different topics, donate to charity, and win an awesome raffle all in one place,” Thibodeau said. “In the end, we will be doing a candle-lit march around campus to celebrate survivors which will be really impactful. It’s an event everybody should experience, and nobody will want to miss it. Students will receive various resources from off-campus organizations that offer services like free counseling and other valuable mental health resources. There will be on-site counseling from the Center of Healthy Living available for students who want it. Most importantly, students will be able to experience an impactful event that may help them to feel heard and seen in a way they might never have before.”

Many campus organizations, including the Black Student Union, Phi Sigma Kappa, Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Inclusion and Equity Council, will be attending and participating in TBTN.

Junior social work major and RISE President Elect Kaitlyn Jordan also talked about the upcoming event. 

“We have worked very hard on creating Take Back the Night and many different activities will be going on. The Center for Healthy Living will also be providing free on-site counseling. We want to ensure everyone feels safe and if they are struggling, they will have someone to talk to,” Jordan said “All RISE executive board members are also a resource. We believe victims of sexual assault, it is never their fault, and we are here to support them.”

Take Back the Night encourages victims to speak up, and promotes a supportive environment for embracing and listening to others instead of marginalizing them. 

Follow RISE on Instagram @liupostrise for more information about TBTN, or email the e-board at with any questions. 

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