Students rally to ‘Take Back the Night’ on Virginia Tech’s campus

BLACKSBURG, VA (WFXR) – The ‘Take Back the Night March and Rally’ kicked off Thursday evening, March 31, on Virginia Tech’s campus.

Organized by the United Feminist Movement at Virginia Tech, the event started with speakers taking the stage one by one, giving remarks about the event.

One speaker said, “The United Feminist Movement has been around before most of us and the work will outlive us.”

The purpose of the event is to continue the fight against gender-based violence on campus.

As the night continued, more speakers took the stage, encouraging people to “see something, say something.”

“You have new ways now with distracting, diffusing, and delegating to help them take back the night,” said another speaker.

Speaker during Take Back the Night event.

The United Feminist Movement organizers say they want to promote awareness of any attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that might add to potential violence on campus – and in Blacksburg.

The president of the organization, Carolina Bell, says they want the university to hear what they are saying.

“We are demanding university accountability for sexual violence, and we will continue to push that. We know our community rallies behind us, ”said Bell.

Bell says this is the first time in two years the organization is able to hold an in-person event. Last year, the event was live-streamed. And the year before that, it was canceled due to the pandemic.

However, even with the bumps in the road, the goal has always stayed the same – to make students feel safe.

one audience member says they are grateful for the organization’s work because they do not feel safe walking the streets at night.

“In light of recent events, I do not feel safe at night. Coming from a man’s point of view I feel like I need someone to always be with me, ”said Jacob Dullack.

Another audience member Kyra Gray says she prefers calling someone while she is working or traveling with a group of friends.

After the rally, the group took to the campus and downtown Blacksburg, marching in protest of violence on campus.

Virginia State Senator Mark Warner, the mayor of Blacksburg, and town council officials have expressed their support for the organization.

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