Take back the night

October 6, 2016, UND’s Women’s Center will be hosting Take Back the Night Rally starting at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. After the Rally, a march down University Ave will take place with beverage and refreshments to follow.

Take Back the Night Rally is an event that UND has been hosting for over 21 years to promote awareness against domestic violence. The Rally also correlates with the Clothespin Project.  This year, the Rally includes speakers from both the UND and Grand Forks community. The event is open to the public.

With 11 speakers planned to present, Director of the Women’s Center, Kay Mendick stated in an interview with the Dakota Student, “The rally will be emotionally charged.” Of the speakers, the recipient of the Dru Sjodin scholarship will also be making a statement along with student advocates.

“UND is one of the many communities that promotes the safety of domestic violence.” Mendick stated. “People want to hear how many victims there are. If we represent the survivors, statistics do not matter. One is way too many.” With the growing amount of support, Mendick stated “This is an important event to partake in. We want to turn the microphone over to the Grand Forks and UND community. We want a lot of support.”

With the growth of popularity within the crowd, Mendick hopes to continue seeing the crowd grow. Last year, there were about five hundred attendants for the Rally. “We want to encourage as many that can come to come.” Mendick stated. “We are taking great strides but we still have a long way to go.”

Mendick stated they have promotions of the event all throughout campus. From posters and signs in residence halls to Greek life, to visiting high schools around the area and using social media as an outreach PSA to other students.

All who submitted an application to speak will be speaking of their experiences with domestic violence and sexual assault. “We are grateful. Students grow from these events.” Mendick stated. “We take the animation of shirts and pictures from the clothesline project and make it into real-life with speakers and their personal accounts.”

The Rally and march are both in honor of acknowledging that October is national domestic violence awareness month. If anyone is interested in more information, you can contact the Women’s Center at: 701-777-4300 or check out their home page on the UND website at und.womenscenter.com.

Haley Olson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]