RSVP Center hosts concert to stand up against sexual violence

This is the first Rock Against Rape concert in three years.

“Make music, not violence!” is the proud slogan of Rock Against Rape, a concert where local bands and poets will unite against sexual violence in the MU community.

The concert is hosted by the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center. It will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 10 at Traditions Plaza. The rain-site is Bengel Lair in Memorial Union.

Before this year, Rock Against Rape took a three-year break, RSVP Center undergraduate assistant Kelsey Burns said. After receiving a huge wave of very passionate students, the center decided to bring this event back.

Local artists Dubb Nubb, high school student Kelsey Brook and The Royal Furs will perform. In between the acts, students will read poetry inspired by their personal experiences.

“We have a good mix of genres with some folk, pop and rock,” graduate assistant Tim Maness said. “Our poets are a very diverse group of students speaking about how interpersonal violence can shape identities.”

The center decided to use more than just music for their event to add different styles of voices, Burns said.

“The center is really supportive of students using their voices to make change and music is an exceptional way to do that,” Burns said. “We want to use every artistic outlet that we can to make this a diversified night of entertainment. I’m proud of the bravery (the artists) have and for them to get on stage and say ‘violence isn’t cool’ is really inspirational.”

The atmosphere of the night is more like a music festival, Burns and Maness said. It will be fun, empowering and uplifting, Maness said.

The RSVP Center will also provide education about sexual violence prevention and how to be supportive of survivors throughout the night. Burns and Maness hope more students will become more aware of their actions and get involved, even in minor ways.

“We want to ignite any kind of little fire of passion we can ignite in the students,” Maness said. “It could be not telling rape jokes or correct problematic language among friends. Just little personal changes. Do I expect events like this to change rape culture? Absolutely not. Do I want them to hopefully accept some positive and non-violent ideologies on our campus community? You better believe it.”

Through this event, the RSVP Center hopes to spread the zero-tolerance policy for violence among MU students.

“My dream is to have someone go who hasn’t thought of this before and see the absolute passion, bravery and drive behind so many humans that are using their voices to make this event happen,” Burns said. “(I want him or her) to realize this is a problem and they can do something about it.”

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