The Night, it has been taken

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Hundreds stood, their fists raised, ringed by police, silent. And then, the cries went up.

“Together we unite to take back the night!” 

“Hey hey, ho ho, Sexual Violence has got to go!”

The crowd, about 90% women and the most popular men on campus, lurched forward, flooding across Broadway and down 116th street to
kkRiverside. Shouts went up in disunison, adding to the cacophony of rape whistles in a joyous celebration of girl power–especially urgent in light of last Saturday’s rape. They wound their way back up 114th street, past frat row, where brothers (and sisters) hung signs out their windows in support of the march. Passersby looked bemused, some slightly stunned, all quietly watching.

Bwog left feeling slightly less snarky than usual.

– LBD, bottom photo by Karen Kwan from the Quad

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  1. ummmm  

    "Hey hey, ho ho, Sexual Violence has got to go!"

    Please tell me that's a joke and that their chants were better than that.

  2. here come  

    the comments by the assholes.

    good fight, good cause, awesome night TBTN. props barnard.

  3. dont  

    you have more pictures

  4. i wish  

    i were there marching with them. i was at work but i saw them walking by in the window, and my heart went out to each and everyone there.

  5. confusedbutfriendly  

    every year they do this thing and i never get it. what exactly is the point? are they hoping that the jerk who attacked the jschool girl will be moved by their chants and fall on his knees and apologize? really, does this kind of walk achieve anything at all?

    • absolutely!  

      it shows that these women are taking back the streets and the night! you know, those dangerous streets, like frat row and broadway.
      maybe this would have some meaning if you didnt conduct it entirely in one of the safest enclaves in the city. at the end of the day what im getting is "rape is sooooo bad. not cool. and we're fighting it aggressively by spreading our message amongst others who are at our event. what? no. we dont do anything, just talk about how bad rape is with people who already think rape is bad. yea. rape = bad"

      • columbia  

        isn't a campus free of sexual assault and rape. it's a showing of solidarity with the victims here and elsewhere. take back the night was started in the 70s and still happens all over the country. it gets people mobilized about the issue and spreads awareness.

        i just don't understand why bwog commenters always have to be so hostile and negative.

        • hi there  

          My biggest problem with CU is that the university prefers to deal with so much stuff in-house. Date rapes are unlikely to be reported to the police, and students are unlikely to be expelled for it. If they were to expel the student, they'd also have to include it in the crime stats and the university is not about to do that. I find that unacceptable.

    • well  

      we're not marching for the people who perpetuate violence. We do it to show solidarity with with people who have experienced sexual violence. I dare anyone who questions take back the night and it's effectiveness, to go the Speakout and listen to the horrifying stories. Listen to men and women talk about how hard life has been after the event, and how it made them feel to be at a place surrounded by other students willing shout out aggression and break the silence, if even for just one night.

      And for people railing on the chants, and the grammar, really? Is that what you choose to take away from this? From people putting aside their fears and insecurities for one night to take to the streets and let everyong know it's not okay to rape and harrass? If that's the case, then I'm sorry for you.

  6. impressive  

    quite a night for columiba.....take back the night, capture the flag, and i think the senior "secret" societies are doing their hazing stuff.

  7. and  

    there was an amazing event in Schermerhorn where CUEBS screened Cane Toads: An Unnatural History...the most hilarious documentary ever made about an invasive amphibian species!

  8. chant  

    The only chant I heard was, "What do we want? Safe streets! When do we want it? Now!"

  9. activism  

    is always plagued by bad grammar! when do we want THEM not it (unless you just want one safe street)

  10. Elna

    University Silence perpetuates the Violence!

    Individual responsibility, anyone?

  11. Hazing  

    How foolish of the secret societs to haze on TBTN. You can tell which campus leaders are and aren't involved by which ones did and didn't show at TBTN.

  12. Nightline  

    Nightline, a peer counseling service staffed by Columbia students, is open from 10-5 tonight, and 10-3 every night. We are completely anonymous, confidential, and nonjudgmental, and we are here to listen. Our phone number is x4-7777, or (212)854-7777.

  13. subscriber  

    OK, this may seem inconsequential, but I'd really appreciate if Bwog could change it...

    The Bwog feed is currently called something stupid like "RSS Subscription Service". Could you change it to "The Bwog"... nice and short.

    Also, just so you know, the feed is actually an Atom feed, not an RSS feed. Fools!

  14. #18  

    and by that i mean tbtn is a showing of solidarity. obviously not sexual assault and rape.

  15. haha  

    well, i think those societies are more about self-absorbtion than anything else...so it would make sense that they didn't care what was going on.

  16. PCU  

    is the best movie ever. i love bwog's ridiculous cultural references.

  17. hahaha agreed!  

    PCU IS really funny. I love that movie.

  18. props  

    mad props to barnard.

  19. Zack Lipton  

    It's quite remarkable how many of you are retarded.

    If you're naive enough to believe that rapes haven't taken place in dormitories and on frat row, you're an idiot.

    The issue of sexual violence needs to be addressed to the Columbia University community every bit as much as it needs to be taken to streets not in "the safest enclave in the city."

    Whoever wrote that comment can go fuck himself.

  20. Elna

    What I disagree with, primarily, about TBTN is that fact that the CU group is taking back streets that are already really theirs. Why not organize a huge march through a main Central Park artery, or go up to 125th stret? It would be a little more dangerous; therein lies the symbolic value.

    As such, I cannot disagree with the goals that TBTN has set for itself, namely to "end the silence" and have a night when the people we know, our classmates, can tell their stories. However, I would strongly urge the group to rethink its definition of empowerment, and what it means in the context of the post-march speeches and stories. What should one hope to get out of participating in this? How can TBTN affect tomorrow morning...what will change in the victims' outlook or self-esteem?

    Finally, as a recommendation, I would encourage TBTN to publicize that CU's current sexual harrasment and abuse policy is so bad, that victims of sexually based crimes should go directly to the NYPD and file a report. Now, wouldn't THAT be a way to get the university to reform its shitty process, when numbers of sexually-based crimes start rising in the Bubble area of Morningside? Loss in potential tuition dollars, application fees...going to the NYPD (which does merit a degree of professionalism and effectiveness that puts CU to shame in dealing with these crimes) would be a hugely motivating factor for PrezBo and the Senate to get off their collective ass and actually change something for the student better.

    • real quickly  

      Have you heard of symbolism? Everyone knows that most rapes actually happen with people victims know, so I like that we walk through all of Columbia, including the res halls.
      So, first, the street point is so moot.

      If you have not been to TBTN, you can't really understand the impact they make. This is my first year, and I finally get it. If you go to the speak out, you hear these survivor stories and ALL of them are SO SO SO grateful for the event because it shows them that they're not alone.

      So I would say while there aren't going to be any policy changes tomorrow or the day after, I am positive that there will be many, many survivors who are just thankful to have something like TBTN. And maybe knowing that will help them get through the day.

      If you file a report with the NYPD, your name is out there and so is the accused. Columbia makes reporting through them much more pleasant - for them and the victims.

      • Elna  

        About the NYPD. Yes, going to the NYPD after a date rape would expose both the victim and the perpetrator to much more media coverage than does the current university process. It is also a sad fact that university sexual harassment policy, because "Columbia makes reporting through them much more pleasant - for them and the victims" never actually gets anything done. Because it is more private, it includes a huge measure of silence and bureaucratic red tape that rarely accomplishes anything. Going to the NYPD after an acquaintance rape, while more embarrassing than going to the rape crisis center, would be a key strategic method that the TBTN/V-Day groups could publicize as a way to gain more leverage in changing the current policy, exposing the abuse as criminal and punishable, rather than something personal that happens and can be solved on campus.

    • the idiots  

      who think you can only get raped up in the neighborhoods where there are lots of black people are one of the primary targets of TBTN, actually. most rape victims know the perpetrator, people...

  21. you people swear  

    like the only rapes that happen are ones that occur on dangerous streets in the middle of the night. think about the rapes that don't get much publicity.

    sometimes i love snarky bwog comments, but other times i wonder if you guys are just being sarcastic for the sake of being sarcastic.

  22. Exactly  

    the point is, you dont have to walk through central park or Harlem alone and at 3 in the morning to experience sexual assault or rape. It happens on our campus, in our dorms, and in this neighborhood. wake up, people.

  23. Am I the only one  

    who found "Hundreds stood, their FISTS raised..." absolutely hilarious? Good one BWOG! hahahahah

  24. not the only one

    good for take back the night even if they're "taking back" broadway and 114th street. i guess. but even better for the letter to the editor in today's spec about how politically silly the organizers make it out to be.

    hey, what was the teen show (on one of the major networks) that had a tbtn ep in, i think, the late 90s?

  25. Perhaps  

    TBTN should press it's message about being an event for survivors (victims is such an ugly word). I can definitely understand that part of it and appreciate how much of an impact it has for some.

    However, saying that by marching around you're going to make the streets, or dorms, or frats, any safer is ridiculous. As an earlier poster said snarkily (that seems to be the word of week on BWOG), the people who commit these rapes aren't exactly shaking in their boots. As a matter of fact I'd bet they spent their Thursday night getting trashed and possibly assaulting someone else all the while laughing at the march. Horrible? Yes. Probably true? Unfortunately.

    • literalists  

      It's a march, it's going to be on the streets. Most rapes are not on the streets, yes, but this week was a total stranger -- so I think marching on streets was just fine.

      I think it's also a historical thing. The Spec article today said it started because of fear from hthe streets.

  26. hmmm  

    " Passersby looked bemused, some slightly stunned, all quietly watching"

    This wasn't the case at all. Many passersby were cheering us on and clapping as we marched.

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