Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Rally and vigil set to address sexual violence at West Chester University

WEST CHESTER Students at West Chester University, where five sexual assaults have been reported since late March, will hold a rally to raise awareness about sexual violence and a vigil for victims on Tuesday.

"Telling someone if they just protect themselves things aren't going to happen to them isn't enough for me, and isn't enough for us," said senior Cynthia Jones, one of the organizers. "The conversation needs to be changed."

The university has had a rash of alleged assaults that campus officials and some faculty have said might mean more women are reporting incidents, not that more are taking place. The circumstances have varied from a student being sexually assaulted in a campus residence by a man she did not know to a woman being grabbed by the buttocks by a man who appeared to be intoxicated, according to campus police.

"Students need to have a voice," said professor Lisa Ruchti, who will speak at the rally. "And we also need to connect and have real conversation about what it means to have a climate that doesn't tolerate . . . sexual violence as something that inevitably happens."

The rally is scheduled for noon, and the vigil is set for 8 p.m. Information about both events is available at facebook.com/WCStudentSafety.

- Tricia L. Nadolny

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