Women on campus Take Back the Night after last week's assault

By Jennifer Speight and Alysha Landis

The assault of a student almost two weeks ago has left the GC campus community feeling a bit different. There has been little progress on finding a suspect and students and staff may be feeling unsafe. In order to deal with the changing dynamics, new policies have been put in place, leaving students with mixed emotions.

In Kratz, Miller, Yoder, Kulp, and Coffman, floor doors are remaining locked at all times. This hassle has been deemed necessary by Student Life due to the open nature of the Goshen College campus.

Student Life has strongly discouraged students from walking alone, especially at night. Other students are taking more protective measures than the buddy system, with things like mace and kubotans in order to increase their feeling of security. Additionally, campus security is providing an escort service in order to ensure that students make it to their cars and residences safely.

As a response to the feelings of insecurity on campus, the Goshen Student Women’s Association (GSWA) organized a Take Back the Night march last night, Wednesday Jan. 26. The march was organized because of the many requests people had for it.

A group of almost 30 female students gathered by the Rec Fit at 9:15 p.m. to begin their march throughout campus.  The women marched in solidarity to the beat of a drum, singing words like “peace within us, peace over us, let all around us be peace.

“It’s about having that feeling of power,” said Hannah Epp, a junior.  “Women can’t always have that feeling of being safe, no matter where they are.”

After they completed their march, the group of women met a group of about 15 male students under the Goshen College entrance gate.  Together, the group marched as they sang “We are Marching in the Light of God,” until they reached Schrock Plaza, where they held hands around the fountain in a time of silence and reflection.

“I think it’s important to show both solidarity and support, which we did by first walking alone as women and then joined with the men,” said Mara Weaver, a sophomore.  “Fear won’t be the only result of the situation over the past week.”

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