Sunday, September 20, 2020

Rescheduled march against rape culture aims for visibility and awareness

March 1, 2015
<p>English sophomore Kelsey Wiley holds up a sign Feb. 28, 2015, during the V-Day March from the Union, 49 Abbot Rd., to the Wharton Center on 750 East Shaw Lane. Individuals taking part in the march held signs protesting sexual violence and rape culture. Alice Kole/The State News</p>

English sophomore Kelsey Wiley holds up a sign Feb. 28, 2015, during the V-Day March from the Union, 49 Abbot Rd., to the Wharton Center on 750 East Shaw Lane. Individuals taking part in the march held signs protesting sexual violence and rape culture. Alice Kole/The State News

Photo by Alice Kole | The State News

The “V-Day March” was originally scheduled for Valentine’s Day, but was pushed back to Feb. 28 due to harsh weather conditions and to coincide with the scheduling of MSU’s Vagina Monologues.

Students left from the Union carrying signs promoting consent and healthy relationships and arrived at Wharton Center for the 2 p.m. matinee performance.

One Billion Rising served as an inspiration for the event, a cause that exists to end violence against the one in three women who will experience violence or rape in their lifetime. The march was dedicated to supporting victims and bringing about a revolution in sexual assault policies and college campuses and worldwide.

Supporters who could not make it to the march were encouraged to donate online to Students for Choice’s GoFundMe page.

Social work junior Ariel Tausk, treasurer for the organization, set up the page to help with the cost of food and supplies for events including World AIDS Day last December and a planned “Sextival” in the spring.

“We would like to be able to apply for grants through MSU in the future, and this would require opening a financial account through the university,” Tausk said.

She said the group could not afford to open an account in the past because of the monthly fees, but is now able to thanks to $300 raised thorugh a GoFundMe campaign. 

The group took to Grand River Avenue to chant while advocating the end of sexual violence on campus.

“We march along Grand River for visibility,” prenursing sophomore and co-president Cayley Winters said. “We need to bring awareness to the masses.”

The group may have been small in numbers but was large in pride as members like accounting junior Mitch Ostrowsk proudly called out the One Billion Rising name.

At Wharton Center, a table was set up outside the theater doors by co-president Alicia Geniac. The members were offering information and free condoms and accepting donations for their cause.

“We all know someone who has been domestically or sexually abused,” Geniac said. “And it’s time to stop being quiet about that.”

The group was also recruiting members for their weekly meetings and to help educate the university community about reproductive health and rights.

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