Loyola takes back the night 

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WADNER PIERRE/ PHOTO EDITOR

Music senior Rachael White and acounting sophomore Aleksandra Golanka hold their candles together at the “Take Back the Night” march. Loyola, Tulane and Dillard students marched at the 21st annual march against sexual violence on women and men.

Burke Bischoff

People from all over New Orleans came together to raise awareness and fight back against sexual violence in their community.

Many different schools and universities, such as Tulane and Dillard, gathered at Loyola University New Orleans on Oct. 23 to participate in Take Back the Night, a peaceful protest against rape and domestic violence.

The event consisted of a series of speakers at Loyola’s horseshoe, a candlelight procession down St. Charles Avenue and Broadway Street and ended with an open mic at Tulane’s Qatar ballroom.

According to staff counselor Brooks Zitzmann, the primary goal of Take Back the Night is to raise awareness of sexual violence and also to form unification with members within the New Orleans community.

“Take Back the Night tends to link sexual violence as an issue of social justice,” said Zitzmann. “There are so many community constituents that come together for this event that a major purpose of it is to hold everyone in solidarity around this cause.”

She also said that the event is a type of healing ritual for the survivors of sexual violence.

“It is a chance for them to feel connected, to know that their voices are going to be heard, to know that there are resources available for them and that healing is possible,” Zitzmann said.

Director of the Women’s Resource Center Karen Reichard also stressed the importance of the many different speakers and the open reflection at Tulane as helping to give the survivors their voice and give them support.

“Often survivors of traumatic experiences feel like their power has been taken from them,” Reichard said. “So this is a moment to give them the space to recapture that and to know that they are supported by the community.”

Political science junior and keynote speaker Jackie Joseph said that this Take Back the Night was special because there was an increase of reaching to the community through different sources of media.

“Take Back the Night has its own Facebook page now, and we’ve reached out to different businesses for support with our involved charities,” Joseph said. “This year we have press coverage coming, so we are hoping that will increase visibility for our New Orleans community members.”

English writing junior Austin Broussard said that even though this is was first time attending Take Back the Night, he feels that the importance of the event is really beneficial to the people of New Orleans.

“I think it’s really nice to see such a tangible symbol of unity that Take Back the Night provides for many people,” Broussard said.

Biology freshman Sabrina Hernandez said that she is blessed to be able to take part in a form of solidarity with a large portion of the public.

“As a woman, I feel that it is my obligation to come and show my support for the event,” Hernandez said. “Take Back the Night provides a strong sense of unity because it means so much to a lot of people.”

Joseph hopes that the participants of Take Back the Night will keep the event’s message in “Joining the NCAA would allow us to mind, as others have done years before.

“I find that after Take Back the Night, there’s a lot more awareness on campus and more involvement with organizations like Women’s Resource Center and Student Counseling,” Joseph said. “We also find that even for a small amount of time, there is an increase of people reporting whenever sexual violence occurs.”

Burke Bischoff can be reached at [email protected]

Three Dillard students, Michael Miller, Rachel Williams, and Mikeal Todd, from left to right, march at the 21st annual Take Back the Night organized by Loyola, Tulane and Dillard universities. This annual march has united university students to battle sexual assault against women and men. (WADNER PIERRE /PHOTO EDITOR)