A barbeque and music by singer-songwriter Kris Kitko will kick off the 2012 Take Back the Night event Thursday, September 13, on the MSUM campus mall. Events begin at 5:30 p.m. and include a poetry slam, speakers, a march around campus and a candlelight vigil.  The event is free and open to the campus community.

Take Back the Night events seek to increase awareness of violence against women. In the United States, one in five college women have been raped at some point in their lifetimes, according to One in Four, a national non-profit working to end sexual assault and rape on university campuses.

Philadelphia hosted the first Take Back the Night event 37 years ago. Citizens of Philadelphia rallied together after the murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, who was attacked by a stranger a block from her home while she was out walking at night. The first international Take Back the Night event took place a year later at The International Tribunal on Crimes against Women in Brussels, Belgium. Two thousand women representing 40 countries attended. Since then, millions of people have participated in Take Back the Night in more than 15 countries.

NDSU is hosting a similar event, and to communicate solidarity, MSUM and NDSU planned them for the same day. NDSU’s event starts at 7 p.m. at Festival Concert Hall. For information on the NDSU event, contact Sarah Dodd at sarah.dodd@ndsu.edu.

MSUM’s event is sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies, the Women’s Center, and Rainbow Dragon Center. In case of bad weather, the MSUM event will take place in Comstock Memorial Union. For updates and more information, see the MSUM Take Back the Night Facebook page, or contact Sherry Lee Short at 218.477.4070 or shortsh@mnstate.edu. You may also stop by Short’s office during her office hours in MacLean 175.

If you have a disability requiring accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact Short by Thursday, September 6.