Student Life

One Billion Rising raises awareness of violence against women through dance

Ohio sophomore Emma Tuthill and Ortonville junior Stephanie Sullivan jump during the "One Billion Rising" flashmob Thursday afternoon in between Anspach and Pearce Halls. The purpose of the flash mob is to spread awareness about violence against women. "According to research, I've learned that one billion women will be beaten or abused around the world in our lifetime," Tuthill said. "It's important to me to spread awareness on this cause." (Charlotte Bodak/Staff Photographer)

Ohio sophomore Emma Tuthill and Ortonville junior Stephanie Sullivan jump during the “One Billion Rising” flashmob Thursday afternoon in between Anspach and Pearce halls. The purpose of the flash mob is to spread awareness about violence against women. “According to research, I’ve learned that one billion women will be beaten or abused around the world in our lifetime,” Tuthill said. “It’s important to me to spread awareness on this cause.” (Charlotte Bodak/Staff Photographer)

“One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

That’s what it says on the “One Billion Rising” website, and, on Wednesday, CMU joined the “One Billion Rising” dance movement in a flash-mob setting to raise awareness for violence against women.

A four-minute mash-up of songs relating to women’s empowerment accompanied a choreographed dance performed during the flash mob.

CMU groups sponsoring the event included Take Back the Night, Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, Voices for Planned Parenthood and Students Advocating for Gender Equality.

The first dance was performed at 12:15 p.m. outside the Bovee University Center. The flash mob brought together a group of twenty dancers, as well as students crowding around to watch. Algonac senior Kelly Mytinger participated in all the dances throughout the day.

“I was very happy with the turnout and how many people showed up for the first dance,” Mytinger said. “I think that it will get easier now that we have performed it once.”

Following the first flash mob, the group moved to their second destination in the UC Down Under Food Court. By 12:45 p.m., the flash mob began, leading to many surprised faces. Casually eating her lunch, Belleville freshman Stephanie Ralls was caught off-guard.

“I saw them all walk in with matching shirts, and, jokingly, I told my friend, ‘I bet it’s a flash mob.’ Then the music started, and I automatically knew that it was,” Ralls said.

Students watched from afar and jumped in to join. Pinconning senior Carrie Cloutier also had her own idea of the surprise dance.

“When they started dancing, immediately I thought that it was going to be a Valentine gesture to someone special, but it ended up being something completely different,” Cloutier said.

After the flash mob surprised the UC, it went on to follow their schedule, performing at 1:45 p.m. between the CMU Park Library and Botanical Garden, then moving to Anspach and Pearce halls at 3:15 p.m. before ending at 4:45 p.m. between Moore and Brooks halls.

The group persevered through a cold winter day to show their dedication to raise awareness. Allegan senior Rachel McDaniel explained how important it was to continue.

“Sexual assault occurs regardless of the weather, so we should show awareness in all conditions,” McDaniel said.

With the dance moves down and a positive mindset, CMU joined the One Billion Rising revolution, showing love for all women this V-Day.

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