By Marissa Burr, Opinion Editor
With Sexual Assault Awareness Month almost over, Canisius will host two more events to finish it out.
The first will be the Take Back the Night Walk from 5:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m on Tuesday, April 25. The first hour will consist of food, beverages, giveaways and “What They Were Wearing” displays. It will then be followed by guest speakers and a panel discussion for two hours. Special guests will include Erie County Deputy District Attorney Mike Keane, Alicia Wattie from Crisis Services, Helana Mulawka, who is an investigator for the New York State police, and Rachel Kranitz-McPhee, the Erie County assistant district attorney. The guest speaker will be Tayrin Tapia — a survivor and the founder of Dear Taryin. At 8 p.m., attendees will march from Canisius to Medaille’s campus in order to support the mission of ending sexual violence in all forms, raising awareness and supporting survivors. A survivor poem will also be read.
The second campus event will take place on Thursday, April 27. Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to wear denim on this day to show their support for sexual violence survivors. Title IX Director Debbie Owens speaks on the subject and provides us with information on the history of Denim Day. She says “If you are unfamiliar with Demin Day, the campaign began in 1999 after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court, when the court overturned a rape conviction. The conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove them, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. This protest was picked up by international media, which inspired the California Senate and Assembly to do the same on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. Patti Occhiuzzo Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence, saw this in the media and thought everyone should be wearing jeans to protest all of the myths about sexual violence, and Denim Day was born.”
Teal ribbons are available all around campus, and can be picked up in the following locations: the Title IX Office, the Office of Student Life, the Counseling Center, the Health Center, the International/Study Abroad Office, ALANA, SELD, the Griff Center (Old Main 013), the Tutoring Center, the Career Office and the library. These can be worn all during April, especially at the two events.