Penn Staters “Take Back the Night” during the march to raise awareness of sexual violence | University Park Campus News

As rain fell over Old Main Lawn, Penn State’s Lambda Theta Alpha held their annual Take Back the Night March on Thursday night to raise awareness about sexual assault.

Students were greeted with a Take Back the Night banner displayed throughout the walk.

To begin the event, the Lambda Theta Alpha sisters introduced the Gender Equity Center, Center Safe, and Penn State Psychological and Counseling Services – organizations to support and encourage victims of sexual abuse.

Rebecca Geiger, Deputy Director of the Gender Equity Center, addressed the crowd with a few words and reminded the crowd of one of her “favorite quotes from the Wonder Woman comic book.”

“It’s okay, ‘If the prospect of living in a world where trying to respect the basic rights of those around you is of those around you and valuing yourself just because we exist are such daunting and impossible tasks that only a super -heroes born of royalty can answer it, so what kind of world do we have left?” Geiger said.

Geiger also said that being “able” to walk around campus and participate in activities while feeling “safe” is a “basic right” for all students.

Camille Sluzis, CAPS sexual assault and domestic violence coordinator, also addressed the crowd.

“CAPS works closely with those who have experienced sexual violence,” Sluzis said. “We are here to support everyone who is here and everyone who is not here.”

Next, Sluzis made it clear that if “any” students needed to speak, “several” CAPS representatives would be available to speak during the campus walk.

The Lambda Theta Alpha sisters then invited the group to walk to their first stop – the Penn State Pattee and Paterno Library.






Lambda Theta Alpha is hosting the Take Back The Night March on April 7, 2022 near Old Main Steps. This event provides students with a safe place to share stories and find resources.




Walking to the library, Brittney Sherman, Prevention Educator at the Safe Center, gave an overview of the event.

“I hope we raise awareness about the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence,” Sherman said. “Most importantly, I hope this event gives the survivors a chance to heal a little from the things they went through.”

Sherman also “praised” the number of men who attend the march each year.

“The first time I attended this march, the first speaker to show up was actually a man,” Sherman said. “It was really powerful for me, and it seems to me that more and more men are attending these types of events.”

When the group arrived at the library, anonymous survivors were asked to share their stories with the crowd.

Survivors recalled times when they felt “in danger”, “violated” and “worthless” because of the trauma they experienced on campus and elsewhere.

For Erin Li, a student at Penn State, she was encouraged to come on the walk to one of her classes.

“I actually heard about the event in my criminology class,” Li (junior-criminology) said. “The course actually focuses on sexual violence and how survivors deal with these types of events.”

Li said she and the class also “helped” Lambda Theta Alpha by putting up posters around dorms and other campus buildings.

After the survivors shared their stories, the group then headed to their next stop – East Halls.

While walking around campus, Camille Sluzis shared her thoughts on the Take Back the Night march.

“We were actually invited by the hosts to attend the event,” Sluzis said. “I hope this event facilitates a broader sense of community and raises awareness of this real issue here at State College.”







Resume the night walk

Lambda Theta Alpha is hosting the Take Back The Night March on April 7, 2022 near Old Main Steps. This event provides students with a safe place to share stories and find resources.




Sluzis also highlighted the “importance” of CAPS and the resources available to students.

At East Halls, another anonymous student showed up.

“He felt his way inside me, and I just sat there,” she said. “He asked me if I wanted it and I said, ‘Yes,’ what else could I say?”

Additionally, she described how she didn’t “realize” what had happened until she was sexually assaulted again during her sophomore year of college.

“After the assault he texted me and I didn’t open it for a month,” she said. “When I opened it he ended up thanking me and telling me I should feel honored to be the one who unlocked his fetish for women like me.”

She described how she is still “struggling” with what happened to her.

“I cried for days after that,” she said. “I blamed myself for years, it was something horrible that didn’t need to happen.”

The students then walked to various other locations on campus, including Pollock Halls, and met at Old Main.

At the end of the march, students and other spectators took part in a candlelight vigil to commemorate survivors of sexual abuse.

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