By Maia Vines

Students from all over campus gathered at the Student Activities Center plaza on Monday, April 29, to march in support of victims of sexual, relationship and domestic violence.

The march was entitled Take Back the Night, since statistics show many cases of sexual assault occur at night. It was hosted by Stony Brook University’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) and Sigma Psi Zeta.

“Allies can learn that rape culture isn’t an abstract distant concept, and instead one that hits very close to home for many people,” Mahum Siddiqui, the president of FMLA, said. “For survivors, this is a chance to feel supported, have a safe space to speak, and find solidarity from your peers and campus community while being provided the proper resources to heal.”

A Stony Brook University student holding a sign for the Take Back the Night march on April 29.

Students marched across the campus recreational center, behind Chavez-Tubman dormitories, towards the administration building where they stopped there for a moment of silence in honor of the victims, holding up signs, which read “We Have the Right to Be Safe at Night,” “#Believe Survivors” and “My Body My Choice.”  Afterwards, they continued down the academic mall and retreated back to the SAC.

The FMLA held a post-march discussion and presentation following the march, allowing students to engage and address the issue of sexual violence.  

“It was nice to see other people come out in support of sexual assault survivors,” David Clark, who participated in the march for the first time, said. “I think it’s important for people who have been sexually assaulted to have a visible presence on campus just so people know that it’s ok to stand up against sexual harassment and speak out.”

Activism has been prevalent on campus in recent years. FMLA and Sigma Psi Zeta, along with the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO), decided to bring the event back after a few years of not having it on campus.  FMLA Treasurer Crystal Williams, said that she is excited for her organization to continue hosting the march next year.