This month has been a delightful one for me despite the many sleepless nights typical of April and college life in general. Why? You might ask. It was because wherever I went on campus, I would be greeted with signs of support for sexual assault victims or acceptance of people regardless of their gender.
Randolph College has done a pretty good job this year of spreading awareness on campus about the contentious issue of rape and sexual assault. The Clothesline Project adorned the college’s hallways and corridors with colorful T-shirts decorated with creative, touching messages to victims, showing that there are people here in this community that do care and are willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear for anyone in need. The Office of Sexual Misconduct Education and Advocacy also held a forum titled Randolph’s Response to Sexual Violence to inform and take feedback from the student body about our current policy. To top it off, there were a screening of Can’t Thread a Moving Needle and a domestic violence shelter supply drive to the Wal-mart on Old Forest. Last Friday, Sexual Assault Awareness Month ended with Denim Day when everyone wore denim to show support for victims of rape and sexual assault.
Bridges, the only LGBTQ+ club on campus, also contributed with their Queer Week events, including a screening of Patrick 1.5, a (quite marvelous) Drag Show, LGBTQ+ poetry reading, and a wonderfully colorful Drag Party. The Drag Show was indeed a huge success: Thoresen Theatre was almost packed and people got so excited that they clapped, sang, and danced along to all the performances.
Last, kudos to some secret society that has been putting up educational messages about consent and pro-gay marriage signs all over campus, if you read this blog, you all know that you are awesome!
Compared to last year, this year has been a better year for feminism behind the red brick wall. I feel like we have more events and the events get better participation (to be honest, I am not entirely sure if we had any events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month last year — or maybe we did and I just didn’t pay attention then).
However, as April is coming to an end, I am greatly saddened at the realization that we only have a month to do all of these cool awareness-raising projects. I feel like these projects are the only way to bring the community together and get the chemistry going so that we as a group can make some small but progressive changes. It’s hard to be a full-time activist for several reasons; but I can and would love to do it “part-time” to contribute somehow to social changes within my capability.
We should have more events like this and make every month of the year a Sexual Assault/ LGBTQ+ Awareness Month. It takes a lot of time and effort to plan and organize these events, so I am not saying that one single office or club should be in charge of this year-long project. But I would love to see the whole community participate in this ongoing discourse about feminist issues like these. Just as we do with Sustainability, I’d love to see the same support and attitude in our community towards feminism. Is this too hard to ask for? What can we do about it to make this place, where I hold dear to my heart, a better place?