Every semester at SUNY Cortland, Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) host a Take Back the Night event, which raises awareness about sexual assault through a community march and speeches.
This semester’s Take Back the Night event will be held both in-person and online on Wednesday, April 28, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
For safety reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SAFER has adjusted the event by shortening the route and spreading marchers into smaller groups in lieu of one mass march through the Cortland community after sundown.
“It still gives people the opportunity to feel like they’re a part of something bigger,” said Nathalia Melo, a senior community health major and SAFER’s president.
Attendees may preregister by picking a 10-minute time slot via a Google Form, which can also be accessed through the bio feature on SAFER’s Instagram. Members of the SUNY Cortland community can sign up to march between 2 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. Each time slot is limited to five people.
On Wednesday, attendees are asked to arrive at Corey Union at least five minutes earlier than their registered time in order to receive their map from a SAFER member. Marchers should complete their daily COVID-19 screening before arrival and follow appropriate COVID-19 safety procedures while marching.
At 8 p.m., a virtual presentation will be hosted on Webex. A keynote speech, featuring a speaker who will be announced on SAFER’s Instagram before the event, will be followed by an open forum in which all participants will be able to speak, listen and support one another.
“A lot of the time, people don’t realize that they are being sexually assaulted or taken advantage of,” Melo said. “It’s just not spoken about enough.”
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Members of the campus community are welcome to participate in Yards for Yeardley from Monday, April 26, to Sunday, May 2.
Prepared by Communications Office writing intern Chelsea Grate