By Will Verdeur ’19
At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 10, the Mill hosted Voices Raised in Power. This is an annual event in which members of the Trinity community are invited to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault. The event allows members of the Trinity community to speak to an audience on the topics of rape and sexual assault. In most cases, the speakers shared stories from students and alumni who have survived sexual assault.
The event was sponsored by Trinity’s Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC), the Campaign for Community, the Title IX Office, Encouraging Respect of Sexualities (EROS), and other groups, including the event’s venue, The Mill.
Voices Raised in Power of Trinity’s a cappella groups, the Trinitones, the Quirks, and the Accidentals performed between individual speakers. The speakers were introduced by Trinity students Amber Stevenson ’18 and Russell Pierson ’17, both of whom are involved in the campus group Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS).
The event was well attended by Trinity’s student body; all the seats set up in the Mill were full. Such a large influx of people attended people that were standing and musical performers had a hard time getting to the stage.
One particularly courageous student shared her own personal story, not only moving the crowd emotionally, but also indelibly impressing everyone present with her unquestionable bravery. Another student, representing the College’s Masculinity Group, came forward to explain the nuances and complexities of rape culture, and the ways in which rape culture overlaps with our cultural construction of masculinity. This student, provided tremendous insight concerning the topic, explaining that these negative behaviors most often exhibited by males stem from a wide variety of societal precedents. The group said the idea that, beyond one group of deviant men, all others are completely innocent of perpetuating rape culture is a drastic oversimplification of the reality. Other students shared stories of assault from friends and former Trinity students.
Also in attendance were Trinity administrators and mental health professionals from Trinity’s Counseling Center, there to provide any service that might be required by those upset by the content of the presentations.
The atmosphere of the group that gathered at the Mill this past Thursday was one of respect and tolerance, but the issue of sexual violence on Trinity’s campus, as well as on other campuses all over the country, remains rampant. For members of the Trinity community adversely affected, there exist campus resources including WGRAC, the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), the Counseling Center, and others, more thoroughly listed on the Trinity website at: http://www.trincoll.edu/cs/SART/Pages/default.aspx.
By Will Verdeur ’19