Students and faculty ‘Take a Stand’ against sexual assault


Photo by Zoe Seiler/The Simpsonian

by Belle Ward, Features Editor

Simpson College students and faculty stood up against sexual assault on a stage in front of Dunn Library. Sexual assault response advocates (SARA) created the event to raise awareness for the community.

Students, faculty and staff signed up for 30 minute shifts for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a Stand came from an idea from Morningside College, where a group has a fundraiser for breast cancer patients.

Junior SARA member Lewis Cox helped create this event.

“We wanted it to be an education event and an advocacy event where we empower people to use their own voices instead of hearing the SARAs say the same things we’ve always said,” Cox said.

SARA members also spent time at the stage in order to start a conversation, or be there to support the participants and viewers, Cox said.

“We hope to make it a regular event. Logistically, I think it would be possible to expand the time that we do it,” he said.

The Morningside College event lasts for an entire week, and Cox hopes that with the success of this event and with student interest, it could allow a longer event in the future.

Cox hopes to see this event continue in the future, as well as partnerships with activities such as theatre, art or speech.

“We hope it does kind of awe people by the amount of difference both in expression and of people that are on the box,” he said.

Liz Nimmo, president of SARA, wanted participants to do what they wanted with their time on the stage.

“They can do whatever they like, whether it’s homework, reading poems, or just sitting on the stage,” Nimmo said.

As of Sunday evening, over 30 spots were filled by students and faculty to participate.

“Hopefully it’ll start conversations and encourage people to care more about sexual assault on campus,” Nimmo said.

Members of SARA held an information table in Kent and contacted professors and student organizations in order to increase participation.

“I think the success of it found in the fact that it’s not just limited to students, and we’re opening it up to all of the campus community,” Nimmo said.

On the online sign up, participants had to state what they will be doing on the stage. If SARA members watched the list to make sure each event was appropriate and aligned with their mission.

“We’ve been telling our participants that they will be expected to participate rain or shine,” Nimmo said, “That’s something I think that if they do actually show up will send a really strong message to campus.”

Tayler Keitzer, area coordinator for freshman and Greek area housing participated in the event.

“I just wanted to show my support of sexual assault survivors,” Keitzer said. “I think that as a staff member, it’s important for me to show my support for students who experience these situations.”

Sophomore Eden Moad participated in the event by wearing white clothing and invited people nearby to write a positive message for sexual assault survivors. The Take a Stand event was meaningful to Moad after participating in Agents of Change in the fall.

Moad wanted to raise awareness for sexual assault on campus by being on the stage. Before writing on the outfit, people would ask if they could write on Moad’s chest or other sensitive areas. Moad answered with their consent but was surprised that people asked.  

Moad was excited to see the variety of messages on their clothes, with phrases like “We believe you” and “You are strong.”

“I wanted to spread as much positivity as possible. I thought it would be really powerful to see all of the different people’s messages,” Moad said.