SPU Hosts Annual Take Back the Night March

By Eva Reid

Video by Eva Reid
Graphic by Eva Reid
Graphic by Eva Reid

On April 27, Saint Peter’s University students and faculty “took back the night” marching from Panepinto Plaza to Journal Square and back advocating for victims of sexual violence and domestic violence. The march, which was organized and named Take Back the Night, not only educates students on these topics but also on the topic of mental health.

Beth Adubato, an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Saint Peter’s, has made a major difference in the lives of many students. She began Take Back the Night at New York Institute of Technology when she worked there as a full-time professor. She was then able to bring the event to Saint Peter’s. The future lying in the hands of the younger generations, and that Saint Peter’s instills in its students to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

“Sexual assault and domestic violence are the most under-reported crimes,” shared Adubato.

With Generation Z being the generation of all things digital, Adubato shared how the younger generations can help to break this cycle of assault and violence.

Gen-Z can help change these patterns of violence through their continued predilection toward activism,” said Adubato. “Gen-Zers have shown that they are ready to take a stand for a cause. Although as criminologists we know it is difficult to legislate personal behavior, members of Gen-Z can use activism to bring awareness by protests and boycotts. While companies may not

care about human suffering, they do care about their bottom lines.”

Students and faculty had the opportunity to create posters beforehand, attend the march, and then they were also able to go back to the Roy Irving Theater, where the attendees were able to feel a sense of community within the room, with various organizations and also all of the other attendees.

The organizations that attended Take Back the Night include Women’s Rising, Hudson Pride Center, Hudson Speaks, Partners in Essex County and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

A candle vigil took place, lighting up the Roy Irving Theatre, as all in attendance gathered to listen to all who came forward. 

Students and faculty trusted everyone in the room to share their own personal experience stories, some of the attendees even got creative and wrote poems for the event. Throughout the room, came a sense of unity.

“Take Back the Night started out as a passion for me and it is now a part of my soul,” said Adubato.