By Olivia White Contributing Writer
UMF is showing its support for the #metoo movement by hosting “The Vagina Monologues,” a play by Eve Ensler based off of interviews from over 200 women speaking out about about sexual assault and abuse experiences in February.
People everywhere are voicing their views on sexual harassment and sexual assault through #metoo, a social media hashtag that opens a space for people to share their stories on being sexually harassed and/or assaulted.
Alyssa Leonard, a freshman at UMF, said she “can’t really relate to #metoo personally, but just knowing so many people that do makes me genuinely sick. No one should ever have to go through something like that.”
Other student’s views echo Leonard’s position, arguing that sexual assault is a horrible thing, or they avoided answering the saying they felt uncomfortable talking about the subject.
The students of UMF have expressed their views on campus awareness and precautions. Sophomore and Clefnote member, Vanessa Brown said that, “as cliché as it sounds, campus awareness is unity. Whether its physical, verbal, mental, emotional….unity is the strength in which all hopes and fears are destroyed.”
Brown also said the campus should be encouraging the students, “to create safe spaces, to incite discussions, to allow all stories be an important one.”
Some students on campus are not used to sexuality being so public and outspoken and it makes many uncomfortable. Others feel as though they cannot express their thoughts for fear they may have the “wrong” opinion in the minds of their peers.
When asked how she thought sexual assault could be prevented on campus, Leonard said “a good idea would be to have conversations. I know there’s something on campus happening called ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ where they are talking about sexual harassment.”
The cast for this year’s production are students from UMF, who will be under the direction of Gavin Pickering, a counselor here at UMF. The characters delivering monologues talk frankly about sexuality as a whole and women’s perceptions of their bodies. “The Vagina Monologues” will be held at the Emery Arts Center at 6 p.m. on February 23rd.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services (SAPARS) along with Safe Voices are organizations that helps those who have experienced a form of sexual assault. If you need help please contact one of these organizations; SAPARS: 207-778-9522 or 1-800-871-7741, Safe Voices: 207-778-6107 or 1-800-559-2927, and/or Non-Crisis Peer to Peer Support: 1-866-771-9276.