Marywood speaks out against sexual assault and raises awareness


Mackenzie Warren, Correspondent

Marywood University held the 12th annual “Release the Light: Sexual Assault Awareness Program” on April 17.

The group advocates for victims of sexual violence and promotes sexual violence education, said Ed McNichols, co-coordinator of the Release the Light: Sexual Assault Awareness Program.

“People look forward to the event. We have had some tragedies related to alums and students on campus, so we try to use Release the Light to raise awareness about that sort of thing,” added McNichols.

The event at Marywood consisted of a tree planting ceremony for alumna Kristina Adams who lost her life in August of 2012 from domestic violence. The students then participated in a campus-wide march to defend victims of domestic violence.

One of the speakers was Kristina Adams’ mother.  She gave a short speech about her daughter and how she had lost her life.

Kelly Rebar, a graduate student, participated in the tree planting for Adams.

“She was a victim of sexual assault, and it just happened this past August. It has not even been a year, and Marywood thought that it was a symbol of the greater good to show people that we don’t stand for that, and Kristina will be remembered forever now,” said Rebar.

There was also a campus-wide march that began in the Nazareth Student Center and traveled throughout campus ending back at the student center. The students chanted about their intolerance of sexual assault, while holding signs and waving them in the air.

Ashley Blasi, sophomore biology major, took part in the march around campus. She said that the march was filled with people of all ages, including faculty and people from the community, as well as different organizations.

“There are about 25 different organizations uniting here for the same event,” said Blasi.

Marywood students also participated in a “Take Back the Night” event at the University of Scranton on April 25.  This event also spread the word about stopping sexual assault.