As you all may know, this week is Take Back the Night week (or TBTN) here at Kenyon. There are lots of events for you to take part in throughout this week that promise to be interesting and exciting. Today though, we at the Thrill wanted to interview the two people who make the magic happen–Peter Granville ’16 and Christina Franzino ’16, the Co-chairs this year of TBTN.
Why did you want to be involved in Take Back the Night?
- Peter: Last year was my first year getting involved with TBTN by co-facilitating the men’s discussion. Everyone in that discussion kind of realized how much of a large multitude of men on campus want to help make Kenyon safer for all students. I applied to be TBTN co-chair in the hopes that I could help motivate some people, like me, who had been on the fringe of involvement. On a personal level, I just want Kenyon to be as safe as it can be. I know that I can look back on my involvement in TBTN and say that I’m unequivocally glad I took the time to do that.
- Christina: Sexual assault on college campuses has been at the forefront of the national conversation for the past couple years, and I think because of that it is easy to categorize it as something far removed from Kenyon. I became involved with Take Back the Night because I want to be part of a conversation about ending violence on our campus, and we want to show that this is an issue that goes deeper than statistics. This is an issue that impacts each and every one of us as members of the Kenyon community, and we have a responsibility to address it. Kenyon is our home for four year, and everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home.
What does Take Back the Night mean to you?
- Peter: To me, TBTN means student equity. Everyone deserves a fair shot at having a full Kenyon experience, and the threat of sexual assault, and other students’ complaisance with that threat, corrupts that fairness.
- Christina: One of the most remarkable things that I have seen in my time as a Sexual Misconduct Advisor is the network of support between individuals on this campus who have experienced trauma, not just during TBTN, but always. TBTN is a time for education and awareness, but for me the primary aspect of TBTN is honoring and supporting and listening to the survivors in our community.
What’s different this year about TBTN compared to other years?
- Peter: We want this year’s TBTN to be as accessible as it can be, not just to seasoned activists but every single student, and each event should represent our mission. TBTN 101 is a new event that is meant to provide a launching point for students who would like to help make the campus safer. Also, we are not holding the carnival, since it didn’t quite reflect our mission or successfully raise money for New Directions. Instead, we are hosting a semiformal gala, with a dance floor, mocktails, and hors d’oeuvres. A suggested $2 donation for New Directions is welcomed at the door.
- Christina: More than anything, Peter and I wanted to make TBTN as accessible and as open as possible. In years past we know that some groups have felt excluded from the discussions, and we want everyone to feel like they are included and encouraged to participate. We made a couple changes to the schedule this year, including combining the men’s and women’s discussion groups that we have had in years prior to an “all perspectives” discussion.
What are you most looking forward to about this week?
- Peter: Of course, I’m psyched for the gala. But Self-Defense with Campus Safety is going to be epic.
- Christina: The Speak Out, which is being held on Friday evening at 7 in Peirce Pub, and is a time where survivors are able to share their personal experiences. For me, this event embodies the spirit of TBTN by creating a safe (and confidential) space for individuals to share their narratives with the support of their community.
We’ve attached a copy of the TBTN schedule for the week, which lists all the events. Hope to see you there!