Students took to the streets with signs, chants and flags to rally against violence at the annual Take Back the Night march Wednesday night.
“It’s an event that brings every community at WSU here to support one cause,” said Tremaine Frazier, Coalition for Women Students (CWS) public relations officer. “I think it’s very effective. The last two years I participated in, we’ve gotten a good amount of people. Last year, I think we got about 300 people … It’s always a good group that comes out.”
CWS organized the event as part of the Week Without Violence, she said.
Participants marched carrying signs and chanting slogans, calling for an end of violence.
Signs included messages such as “Respect when I say no the first time,” “No one can make you feel inferior without our consent,” “Kick violence in the face” and “Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no!”
As the group marched, Jessica Dominy, chair of the Native American Women’s Association, and Miss Pah-Loots-Pu Chelsie Patt beat their drums to the rhythm of the chants.
“I brought the drums to bring Native voice to the event,” Dominy said.
She said she has witnessed domestic violence and believes this cause is important.
“It’s an amazing event,” she said. “I’m glad there was such a great turn out.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha member Carmento Floyd attended the event to represent the sorority.
“This is a very important issue and it’s one that we can’t ignore,” Floyd said. “It’s very important that at all ages, we understand that violence is not acceptable. We need to get that message out. Everyone needs to understand that we need to treat each other humanely, with dignity and respect.”
Floyd said violence is a problem in every community and because there is usually silence surrounding the issue, it isn’t always known. She said she hopes bringing the problem to the forefront will encourage those who have experienced violence to speak out.
Toting a crimson and gray WSU flag in the air, ASWSU President Riley Myklebust ran down the street and around the group of chanting participants.
This is his third time attending Take Back the Night, he said.
“It’s fun to see it’s not just one person out here or one type of person,” he said. “Everyone agrees with this issue.”
There is a strong, loud group of students who are going to stand up for the rights of not only women but everyone with stopping violence, he said.
At the end of the march, Myklebust was asked to give a speech.
“There are plenty of resources within the community,” he said. “(Violence) is not something you should hide from because many of us know someone who has experienced violence. Everyone around you is here to support you.”