STARS holds Rock Against Rape concert to bring attention to sexual violence on campus

STARS holds Rock Against Rape concert to bring attention to sexual violence on campus

Nine students performed Thursday night in The Shack in the Rock Against Rape concert put on by Stronger Together Against Relationship and Sexual Violence.

The concert aimed to raise awareness of and end domestic and sexual violence on campus and featured a range of performances from musicians to poets.

The event was planned during STARS meetings, which are held on Thursdays in the RSVP Center, and took nearly the the entire semester to organize.

“During meetings we spend about half of our time planning events like this, and the other half is spent doing things like education about sexual and relationship violence and talk about issues that you don’t get to in other places,” STARS president Mavis Coffman said.

While Rock Against Rape is not an annual concert put on by STARS, this is not the first time the event has been held.

“This is the first time it’s happened in a few years,” Shaina Landhuis, graduate assistant for the RSVP Center, said. “It used to be an annual event, but they took a few years off.”

In order to perform, applicants had to fill out a Google Docs application and were then interviewed by a STARS member.

About 20 people applied to perform at the event and nine were chosen.

While many of the performers were musicians, some of them took a more serious tone and shared poems or pieces they had written about sexual assault or violence.

Senior Madeline Herries performed a monologue she wrote describing her own experience with sexual assault.

“I shared my piece because I am passionate about raising awareness of sexual assault on campus,” Herries said. “As an individual who has experienced how it feels to be unsafe on campus, I found this event incredibly impactful. I shared my specific piece because I find it important to share personal experiences in an effort to battle the stigma that victims face.”

[In light of Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’ recent Title IX reform allowing individual colleges to choose how they address cases of sexual misconduct, the concert was even more relevant to participants.

“This cause is important because it is an increasingly relevant subject,” Herries said. “On college campuses, one in five undergraduate women will experience sexual assault. We are beginning to see more victims come forward about their experiences, which needs to be met with support. It is important to believe victims and show that we are working to build a supportive community on campus.”

Edited by Sarah Hallam | shallam@themaneater.com

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