Rowan unites against sexual violence: To hold annual “Take Back the Night” program April 4

Rowan unites against sexual violence: To hold annual “Take Back the Night” program April 4


Committed to a yearslong campaign against sexual violence, Rowan University will host its annual Take Back the Night program starting at 6 p.m. on April 4 in the Chamberlain Student Center.

Held in partnership with the national Take Back the Night Foundation, the program will include a  campus walk to symbolically “take back the night” and other activities including an open mic forum in the Student Center Pit; a “Survivor Support” clothesline where students, faculty and staff may leave a message for those affected by sexual violence; and community-building exercises including the construction of banners to be hung in the Wellness Center in Winans Hall.

The program will also offer on-site counseling services should they be needed.

“Sexual violence continues to be a problem on all college campuses,” said Allie Pearce, assistant director of Healthy Campus Initiatives (HCI), which supports physical, mental and emotional well-being. “We want to make sure our students know we have resources to support them.”

In addition to the annual Take Back the Night program, Rowan offers counseling services through both the Wellness Center and outside clinical partners to any student who needs them and on-campus support including an active Title IX office and the Green Dot bystander intervention program that teaches students to help keep themselves, their friends and their loved ones safe.

Pearce said the annual Take Back the Night program, especially the open mic portion, can be cathartic for participants but said speaking publicly about assault, whether one experiences it personally or is affected by crimes against a loved one, can be difficult.

Should speakers or listeners feel upset, counselors like Dr. Amy Hoch, associate director of the Wellness Center, will be near the stage and available, Pearce said.

HCI graduate coordinator Jean Corcione said a variety of campus groups, including sports teams, the SGA and Greek organizations, have been invited to participate in the program.

“Everyone is welcome,” Corcione said. “If you’re on your own, please come. Individuals are welcome too.”

Pearce said in addition to raising awareness, Take Back the Night, Green Dot and other campus resources are available to educate students about avoiding situations where they or their friends could be at risk.

“Sexual assault is a crime of power and control over someone else,” she said. “Green Dot in particular educates students, faculty and staff about how to be safe and how to intervene if they think something doesn’t look right.”