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EDITORIAL: Attend, participate in the 2019 SlutWalk


Farmington Hills senior Saceila Gonzalez and Grand Rapids junior Autumn Pinkley march during the Organization of Women Leaders' Slutwalk 2018 on CMU's campus on April 22.

Every April, the streets on Central Michigan University’s campus and Mount Pleasant are filled with women trying to make a change. 

SlutWalk, hosted by the Organization of Women Leaders, has been taking place the last few years on campus. The event was originally created after a 2011 police address at a York University safety forum regarding rape on college campuses. When talking about how women can avoid rape a police officer said women should avoid dressing like "sluts." After hearing this narrative, along with many others which blame survivors, students on campuses across the U.S. and Canada have organized SlutWalk events.

The SlutWalk has significant importance on our campus.It’s a reminder every year to raise awareness to the fight against sexual assault, abuse and harassment. It’s a chance for women — young and old — to have their voices heard. 

This year, organizers said the march has four main points: 

  • Make the Title IX policy more understandable to students
  • Post the Title IX policy in bathrooms and make it more well-known
  • Have an all-staff training on how to handle reporting sexual assault. 
  • Create a gender and sexuality center in the University Center

These are issues all students should be concerned about. Students should know what resources there are after a situation of sexual assault or harassment. They should know what the Title IX Office is, what the policy is and where to find the information. The Title IX policy is something every student should fully comprehend. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this is the perfect event to convey the message. While other events take place over the course of the month, the SlutWalk is one all students should consider attending.

Go and participate in something bigger than yourself. Stand and march with people who want to make this campus a better, safer place. A place where sexual assault is condemned, and victims feel comfortable coming forward. We encourage men to attend and stand alongside your girlfriends and your peers in making a difference. Men need to be a part of the conversation as well. Sexual assault and harassment do not discriminate. 

Opponents to this walk might argue this is an event for women to dress however they like and shout around campus, but it isn’t. And if you don’t believe us, then attend and see for yourself. The SlutWalk creates an open conversation to an issue we need to all be talking about. These women are the future, and we, as a campus, should support them. Administrators, faculty and staff should also attend. Go and understand the issues students are affected by like catcalling, sexual assault and harassment. 

Give yourself a different perspective and learn how we can make this campus a safe place that fights against rape culture. We can do it, together. 

The SlutWalk takes place from 1-3 p.m., with the march beginning at the Bovee University Center. Be there.