“Take Back The Night” educates campus


Giang Do

Students at Augustana College march down 38th St. for the “Take Back The Night” rally on April 30, 2023.

Kayla Hobbs

Content Warning: Discussions of sexual assault prevention

Students on Augustana’s campus came together to support survivors of sexual assault by marching together in an event called “Take Back The Night.”

“Take Back the Night” is an event where students join each other to listen to inspirational speeches, march around campus, make signs and participate in a candlelight vigil. 

The participants march around campus as a symbol of the group taking a stand against sexual violence. 

Senior Grace Tarpey helped lead “Take Back The Night.” She is the vice president of Augustana’s chapter and runs the social media regarding the event.

“The key point of the event is a march throughout the campus that helps bring the community together to show that it is not something that only affects a certain group of people when it affects people of all colors, sexual identities, orientations, etc.,” Tarpey said.

Last year, the event was put on for the first time in six years. 

Tarpey said that there were many people at the last event, so the group expected even more to show their support this year. 

Zachary Draves, the program director for sexual violence prevention and education, oversees Take Back The Night and ensures the volunteers are doing a good job.

“There is a lot of buzz surrounding the event, so I predict a lot of success,” Draves said. 

Many students volunteered for this year’s event. The volunteers were shouting and raising the energy of the crowd.

Some of the chants were “Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no!” and “What do we want? (Safe streets!), When do we want them? (Now!).”

First-Year Angie Truelsen was a volunteer at “Take Back the Night.”

“I love Take Back The Night because this has been a very positive experience for volunteering and it is for a very good cause,” Truelsen said. “The energy here is very high energy, a lot of positive shouting. There are a lot of people [at the rally] that care about ending sexual violence.”

Tarpey said there are many great things that can come out of an event like this. 

“There are many good things that this event can bring to the campus,” Tarpey said. “This can prioritize the issue and an opportunity to take a collective stand. There is something so powerful and visible seeing this many people standing up for what they believe in.” 

First-Year Leslie Gamez attended the event and said that in her opinion,  “Take Back The Night” can help bring a positive change to Augustana’s campus. 

“I love Take Back The Night because it gives support to the survivors out there and it spreads awareness about the horrible actions that can be caused, even on this campus,” Gamez said. “It is really exciting to be a part of such an exhilarating crowd.”