‘We demand change’: UMD students rally for more action against sexual assault on campus

Codi Saxon

By Clara Niel and Ryan White Staff writers Content warning: This write-up discusses rape and sexual assault.  As dozens of crimson-clad pupils marched throughout the University of Maryland’s campus Friday afternoon, Josie Urrea’s voice stood out. The junior general public policy and Chinese key led chants from a black megaphone: […]

By Clara Niel and Ryan White

Staff writers

Content warning: This write-up discusses rape and sexual assault. 

As dozens of crimson-clad pupils marched throughout the University of Maryland’s campus Friday afternoon, Josie Urrea’s voice stood out.

The junior general public policy and Chinese key led chants from a black megaphone: “UMD do far better,” and “We desire change!”

The team of pupils roared, from time to time yelling other chants.

“We will not be silenced,” the group yelled. “We will be listened to.”

Pearson the pet at the Rally for Respect on Fraternity Row on Oct. 8, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

The college students had been having section in the Reclaim the Crimson: Rally for Regard, a march led by the Student Govt Association that identified as for the college to do more to deal with sexual assault on campus. As pupils marched from McKeldin Library to Fraternity Row, their anger and aggravation was palpable.

The rally was component of the SGA’s once-a-year Reclaim the Crimson marketing campaign. The campaign provides consciousness and educates the university neighborhood about the “red zone” – the 1st pair of months of a school calendar year where about 50 {565afb6a7dd3ab7cf54100f70e42ab263dca1ef4e5addf37831397e398fc3d13} of all campus sexual assaults are statistically observed to take place.

[Sexual assault allegations in UMD Greek life prompt calls for accountability]

The march arrives immediately after sexual assault allegations at the university surfaced in September involving the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. In reaction, campus organizations pledged to do extra to confront sexual misconduct on campus. The Interfraternity Council governs much more than 20 social fraternities on campus and is now partnering with the SGA and Protecting against Sexual Assault to conduct trainings and programs for IFC customers.

IFC and the Panhellenic Association — the governing overall body for certain social sororities on campus — helped put jointly Friday’s rally.

“We desired to make positive that all players [at the] College of Maryland were being currently being represented, for the reason that it not only affects Greek everyday living … it has an effect on everyone on campus,” mentioned Urrea, the SGA’s sexual misconduct prevention director.

For Amanda Catipon, the rally hit near to property. In high college, she explained, she was sexually assaulted. Her good friends assisted her out of the condition, she claimed. 

She hopes that the rally will aid increase recognition encompassing the prevalence of sexual assault perpetrated inside of Greek existence.

“They need to be held responsible for what they do,” the freshman cell biology and genetics key claimed. “Girls and boys in basic like, we are not objects … just because we are partying does not imply we will need to be assaulted like that.”

Protesters march towards the administration making during the Rally for Regard on Oct. 8, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

For the duration of the march, she carried a signal that read through, “Sexual Assault IS NOT a fucking recreation!!!” The poster had colourful drawings of Pac-Man and the video game’s ghosts. The indication was a reference to a “game” she has read about, in which some guys retain depend of their sexual companions to contend to see who has had the most, she reported.

“That’s disgusting,” Catipon stated. “You ought to not be counting that.”

Ifeoma Eleazu, SGA’s variety and inclusion director, was also at the rally. She told the crowd that she was raped as a student and noted it. Although she managed PTSD, her rapist remained a resident assistant and even won an Personnel of the Thirty day period award, she said.

She pointed out how women of color are typically forgotten in these concerns. She claimed sexual assault is looked at in conditions of whiteness, leaving many groups powering and experience voiceless. 

“I truly feel like intersectionality is a enormous point due to the fact we have to identify victims who retain owning even smaller sized voice[s] in policy and in politics about these points,” she explained. 

At a single issue in the rally, a college student requested why administration has not carried out nearly anything to resolve these concerns. Urrea answered there is an clear disconnect in between administration and the students on campus.

[SGA calls on UMD to address environmental concerns of Guilford Woods development]

In an job interview with The Diamondback previously this week, university President Darryll Pines discussed the subject of sexual assault on campus, particularly within Greek everyday living. In his tenure, he claimed he has not heard of many sexual assault situations between users Greek everyday living, primarily looking at there had been pretty number of folks on campus previous 12 months and the pandemic minimal the quantity of social events.

“I really don’t think we have a large problem listed here in Greek existence,” Pines reported. 

He emphasised the resources accessible to learners, these types of as reporting sexual misconduct to the university’s Business of Civil Legal rights and Sexual Misconduct. It is also an problem pretty delicate to him, and one he wishes he could remove altogether, he said. 

Protesters listen to a speaker at the Rally for Regard on Fraternity Row on Oct. 8, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

About 13 customers from the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity attended the rally. The members have been encouraged to attend the rally if they had no prior commitments, reported Stephen Kerchner, a junior data science significant and a member of Alpha Delta Phi.

Kerchner thinks that Greek lifestyle members are stereotyped as sexual predators because of to the actions of  “a pair undesirable eggs.”  

“I’m not bashing on any other fraternities, but fraternities should make it a precedence to voice their feeling,” Kerchner mentioned. “I just want much more fraternities and sororities had been right here.”

Protesters march toward the administration constructing throughout the Rally for Respect on Oct. 8, 2021. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

Nick Marks, a freshman secondary training and federal government and politics big shipped a fiery speech, asking fraternity users whether they uphold the values they promote in their organizations. Fraternities have a responsibility to hold each and every other accountable, he stated.

Tiny hoots erupted from the crowd as Marks known as for people today to educate their sons before they protect their daughters. He emphasised a need to educate adult males on respecting gals and reporting incidents that come about in just their fraternities. 

“When you’re silent, you’re complicit,” Marks stated. “And when you are complicit, you are just as terrible as the perpetrator.”

The College of Maryland’s Treatment to Cease Violence crisis line can be achieved at (301) 741-3442. The university’s counseling middle can be reached at (301) 314-7651. People can file sexual misconduct or discrimination stories by the university’s Workplace of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct here.

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