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RCC takes back the night

By Sandra Rodriguez / Staff Writer

By Sandra Rodriguez / Staff Writer

The Feminist Unite club at Riverside City College held their first annual Take Back the Night Anti-Sexual Assault event in the Quad on Nov. 19.

 

The purpose of the Feminist Unite club is to promote gender equality by raising awareness, encouraging mentor relationships, providing education and referral services, and creating a safe environment within which women and men may realize their potential for empowerment.

 

The club has been in existence for 6 years, but in 2008 it was not active.

 

Jamie Brown is the advisor of the club and an Associate Professor of Sociology at RCC. Brown says all she does is advise the students.

 

“The club was inactive for a year and then Gloria came along and breathed new life into it,” Brown said.

 

Gloria Tepili Uelia is the president of Feminist Unite. She says she brought the club back for many reasons.

 

“Mostly because I felt RCC needed a women’s group because most schools do have one and RCC didn’t,” Uelia said.

 

Take Back the Night held four workshops for sexual consent, amnesty international, same sex rape awareness and self defense.

 

A trained jujitsu artist taught the self defense workshop. Certain maneuvers like getting out of a choke hold or flipping a predator over your shoulder were demonstrated.

 

The same sex rape awareness workshop was held by the Gender and Sexualities Awareness club at RCC. Two members of the club gave strong testimonies about how they survived same sex rape.

 

Joey Reynoso is president of the Gender and Sexualities Awareness club.

 

The club is trying to eliminate social stigmas for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, also known as LGBT.

 

“Currently on campus we are trying to advocate for equal treatment and to create an overall safe zone on this campus for LGBT students, because they are at a higher risk for suicide,” Reynoso said.

 

Justin Castaneda, a male member of Feminist Unite joined because Uelia and he are good friends.

 

“As I joined and learned more about it I just got into it,” Castaneda said.

 

The secretary of Feminist Unite, Jackie DePaz said she had a class with Uelia and heard she’s starting the club back up.

 

“I was interested so I attended the first meeting and got involved afterwards,” DePaz said.

 

The event also had an open mic area where multiple students and guest speakers spoke openly about their personal experiences with rape and self acceptance.

 

Renee Bryant was a guest speaker who admitted she used humor to deal with her life threatening experience.

 

Jennifer Grincen, a member of Feminist Unite who has been a feminist since middle school said Brown really opened up her eyes about the club last semester.

 

“I think this event is a really amazing event to have especially in Riverside on this campus,” Grincen said.

 

“I think it is really important to be aware and that they allow us to hold events like this,” Grincen said.

 

During open mic, Uelia explained what the blue emergency lights around campus are to be used for and how to use them. She also gave resource numbers for the campus police and the Riverside crisis center.

 

Uelia also mentioned what to do and what not to do if you are sexually assaulted.

 

Open mic was followed by a candlelight vigil on Fourteenth Street. The vigil intended to support and remember those that have survived and those who have died from rape.

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