S.L.U.T. Walk promotes awareness for sexual assault

Students chanted and raised hand-written signs during the SLUT Walk on Tuesday while marching past the Biological Sciences building.

Clarissa J. Wilson, Staff Reporter

Standing up for victims of sexual assault, the Women’s Empowerment League gathered on the South Quad Tuesday evening.

The S.L.U.T. Walk, known as Satirically Lessening Unfair Theories, was designed for students to understand the stereotypical scenarios that women and men face.

While onlookers watched, the Women’s Empowerment League walked through the campus chanting for justice.

Issues such as the “blame-game” were addressed.

The “blame game” is when society places women in a scenario where they are asking to be raped based on their attire.

Dana Gilbertsen, the president of Women’s Empowerment league, said that it’s a “super-empowering” event that gives women and men the courage to speak out.

Despite the attendance of the S.LU.T Walk being predominantly women, men also offered their support for the cause.

“The Women’s Empowerment League has about two or three men in the organization who help to make all the difference,” Gilbertsen said.

She said the issues that arise from sexual assault are not only a “woman’s problem,” but they affect everyone as a community.  She also said the media portrayals of women make them feel as though they are the reasons for being raped or sexual assaulted.

Caroline Wood, a senior biological sciences major, said the organization really focuses on gender and women’s equality across the board, on campus and in the workplace.

“I think it affects women everywhere, just in general. We are not equal to men. As an organization, we just kind of fight to abolish things like that,” Wood said.

Wood also said although she did not attend last year’s S.L.U.T. Walk, she recognized a shift of support from the males on campus in understanding these issues that the organization discusses.

The S.L.U.T. Walk essentially started from a class held by Jeanie Ludlow, coordinator of the women’s studies program.

“We had our first S.L.U.T. Walk last year in the spring. They planned it for part of the class and then decided to do it again outside of the class,” Ludlow said.

Ludlow said her former students decided to organize the walk in the beginning of the school year in awareness of “red-zoning,” where students are more prone to being raped during the start of fall semesters in college.

“Behavior changes big time,” Ludlow said.

She also said August was a time when the Women’s Empowerment League felt that students would hear the message better because of the “red-zoning” period.

Gilbertsen said if the situation of sexual assault should occur, seeking medical attention is the most important factor to consider at all times.

Resources offered such as the University Police Department or SACIS can also provide counseling and information on legal matters at hand.

The Women’s Empowerment League meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Hall’s basement.


Clarissa J. Wilson can be reached at [email protected].