Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Organizers of Take Back the Night set up tables of facts, stories and statistics, like this one in Sellinger Lounge, in an attempt to inform students about sexual violence and assault.

This year’s Take Back the Night week will involve a diverse array of student clubs and organizations, including College Republicans and the Knights of Columbus. The Women’s Center is spearheading events throughout the week for Take Back the Night to educate others about violence against women.

TBTN is an international event that attempts to raise awareness of domestic violence against women. They also encourage everyone to take a stand by speaking out, marching, lobbying and voting.

“I’m very excited that TBTN grows every year, both for the people it reaches and the people involved. I feel that it’s a very important element of campus life,” TBTN co-chair Liz Trautman (SFS ’05) said. “[Gender-based violence] is something that everyone experiences all year. TBTN provides a forum for students to voice their reactions.”

This year’s events are similar to the events in the past; however, this year more conservative student groups, including the Knights of Columbus and College Republicans, will sponsor TBTN events.

“TBTN is not usually a hallmark issue for the Knights of Columbus, such as pro-life issues,” Trustee of Knights of Columbus Dan Eyler (COL ’05) said. “We take an active role in issues on campus because we are a campus council. [Violence against women] is an issue so prevalent on college campuses we thought it was appropriate to support it.”

Trautman said she felt that an earlier campus event, the R U Ready? program, was effective in reaching people from campus groups that usually are not vocal supporters of TBTN. Members of both the Knights of Columbus and College Republicans approached her and explicitly expressed their interest in sponsoring the events.

Many other campus groups feel the same way.

Among the groups sponsoring TBTN are the College Democrats, FRIENDS and Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society.

“Unfortunately, the general perception is it’s an aggressive move to ally yourself with progressive causes when in reality you are supporting the fight against gender violence,” Trautman said.

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