‘Take Back The Night’: Raising Awareness Against Sexual Assault & Violence

April 11, 2017

By Nayah James

The Peer Educators of Dominican University coordinated a “Take Back the Night” rally followed by a march from 5-6 p.m. outside in the quad on April 6.

Along with Peer Educators, the event was co-sponsored by University Ministry, the Office of Student Involvement, Res Life, Dean of Students, the Study of Women & Gender department, the Criminology & Sociology department, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Wellness Center.

Various events were held throughout campus all week to introduce the week-long awareness campaign. On Monday, April 3, a Flash Mob in the Dining Hall introduced “Take Back the Night” week. Tuesday, the “Take the Consent Pledge” info session and a Live Performance titled, “What Would You Do?” were held and on Wednesday, a movie and discussion about sexual assault.

“Take Back the Night” occurs only in April, for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Take Back the Night” focuses on fighting against sexual violence and sexual assault all over the country, dating back to 1975. In 1975, Microbiologist, Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death by a stranger a block away from her home in Philadelphia. Her death inspired the organization’s events.

Dominican has coordinated this event for the past 5 years and plans to continue it for the years to come.

About 50 participants, supporters and victims of sexual assault, listened to stories and poems about sexual assault experiences.

Miriam DeLaTorre opened the event explaining that sexual assault and violence occurs highly among women and trans-women in society. DeLaTorre requested the crowd engage in a moment of silence, then chant: “No more fear. No more violence. No more silence.”

Chief Diversity Officer, Sheila Radford-Hill ensured that she aims to make Dominican’s campus an open and safe environment, speaking about intersectionality and violence against women. She requested that everyone in crowd hug the person next to them.

“We want a campus free of threats, harassment, sexual coercion, relationship violence, sexual violence and sexual assault,” Radford-Hill said. “When sexual violence and assault happens, we have to protect each other. Our Black and Brown women are vulnerable and missing, we need to stand up for them.”

 DeLaTorre passed out cutouts with the hashtag “SayHerName,” containing the names of the Black and Brown women that have recently gone missing or have been murdered. The crowd randomly recited names from the list aloud.

Assistant Spanish Professor, Lisa Petrov spoke about how Dominican can better combating victim-blaming. “Speak out if you hear or see something,” Petrov said. “Take rape victims who are friends, seriously. Think critically about media messages because we live in a ‘rape culture’ society. Hold accusers accountable. Don’t assume consent because someone didn’t say “No”. It is important that we watch out for ourselves as well as others.”

Junior Anissa Vega, a sexual assault victim, revealed her struggle. “I was not vocal about what happened to me and because of that I was drinking and smoking”, Vega said. “For me, surrounding myself with the people I love and love to do things with really helped.”

Vega also stressed the importance of speaking out. Vega said: “We have to talk about it, it is important to tell someone else because you can really save someone’s life. You have the choice to educate others…you have to show other people support and be an ally. If you don’t decide to share, please know that there are resources here on campus.”

After the rally came to an end, the march occurred. The march started around 6 p.m., beginning on the third floor of the Rebecca Crown Library in Lewis Hall. The crowd marched silently down the stairs of the library and then to the Cyber Café where they chanted “take back the night!” as they walked to the outside of Parmer Hall.


Students Showcase Work At URSCI

April 11, 2017

By Rachael Stewart

Dominican University hosted its annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Investigations (URSCI) Exposition and Global Learning Symposium in Parmer Hall on April 5, where students presented their research projects that took over a year of extensive work and studies to develop.

Professor David Perry, who co-directs URSCI, said: “There’s a lot of hours of collecting all the applications and proofing them and communicating with people and creating a schedule and creating a better schedule when we make mistakes in the first schedule, so it’s many many hours of work from a lot of administrators and faculty putting this together, but of course the real many hours of work are by the students who, for each one of the projects represents, 10, 50, hundreds of hours of work.”

URSCI is one of the most anticipated events on campus, gaining excitement from students and professors alike.

Not only are the students who spent countless hours researching and developing work excited to show their presentations to the public, but their fellow students are equally as excited to support them. Freshman Gina Baran was looking forward to attending URSCI said, “I went for the Italian and Spanish poster presentations and I really liked it. I thought it was very interesting.”

Perry also shared his thoughts on the sense of accomplishment students get from URSCI. “Showcasing your work, making it visible to people, having that kind of deadline and making it a public performance, you do better work when you’re doing it for someone else and you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, and it kind of means more by the end when you get to show it to someone,” Perry said.

Senior Adam Janusz, who presented his work at URSCI also shared his thoughts on the experience. Janusz said: “I chose to take part in URSCI partly because I received the Excel scholarship for my student teaching experience in the fall. Also, I had already been studying and researching some of my interests relating to education, meaning making, brain evolution, and play. It arose at a great point in time that I was able to combine these studies and present their conclusion at URSCI.”  

Students presented on subjects ranging from biology and scientific discovery, all the way to fashion and costume design adaptations from history.

Junior Sabrina Class, who is a graphic design major, reflects on her experience presenting at URSCI. Class said: “I feel like it went very well! I enjoyed the new experience, and it was important for me to represent my design and give the viewers/audience a better understanding of the meaning behind the designs I’ve created for Stella Veritatis.”

Senior Ania Derkacz, who spent over two years working on research involving obstacles that face student organizations and developing an organization of her own, the Polish Student Leaders Assembly (PSLA), shared her thoughts on the day. Derkacz said: “URSCI is a really special day at Dominican because not only do we get to present work we have done for months and years but we also get to see what others are interested in. That girl or guy sitting in your classes who you never talked to, or your friends, or people you see around, you see how devoted they are in the school work they do and it’s a really fascinating thing. URSCI was a great experience and I’m really glad I had the chance to be a part of it.”

The Symposium has been going on for almost ten years according to Perry, and has cultivated much enthusiasm from all different groups of people at the university. Parents, students, and faculty alike all come together to enjoy what Perry says would be a cumulative of tens of thousands of hours of work between students.


‘Exhibition’ Fashion Show Dazzles, Delights DU

April 11, 2017

By Mary Alice Maloney

The lights dimmed, the crowd hushed, and the bass dropped. The first model strutted out onto the diamond-shaped runway, and “Exhibition” had officially begun. Fashion and art intersected and came to life in the Lund Auditorium on April 1 and April 2 as the 2017 apparel class presented their hard work, creativity, and vision to friends, family, professionals, and members of the Dominican community.

The first portion of the show featured category designs, which showcased garments designed by students from various apparel design courses offered at Dominican. Each category highlighted a specific aspect of design, ranging from the introductory exploration of clothing construction to the examination of niche garment designs and markets. Other categories included “Inspired Silhouettes,” “Sculpted Art,” “Outside The Box,” and “Characters Alive.”

The second portion of the show showcased six senior collections, which featured designs created by senior Apparel Design students. Each designer illustrated their own theme and aesthetic in their collection. Allison Bunag debuted “Contrast,” a design reinterpretation of traditional Chinese wear that offered a contemporary twist on tradition with innovative elegance. Gabrielle Faloona unveiled “A Ragged Fantasy,” a collection of fantasy costumes that glorified the woman who is not all together but holds creativity and uniqueness within herself. Elizabeth Eaton introduced “Heritage,” a collection that juxtaposed classic silhouettes with dazzling embroidery, detail work, and daring, flowy fabrics. Jacquie Wallaert shared “Ethereal,” a collection that featured four garments constructed entirely out of fabric scraps, unwanted garments, remnant materials and vintage fabrics. The collection promotes a cleaner fashion industry. Quinlan Milne-Rojek presented “Florid,” a collection inspired by the demasculinization of menswear through slight variations of silhouettes with a focus on floral textures. Last but not least, Jacquelyn Braun revealed “Inked,” a collection inspired by tribal tattoos to show the elegance, boldness, and overall sleek look that tattoos bring to the body.

Rachael Stewart, a Dominican student in attendance at the show, enjoyed watching every moment of “Exhibiton.” “It blew away my expectations and I was so impressed with the creativity, precision, and talent that the students had” she said. “I have some friends who showed off their senior collections and it was so cool to see the result of their hard work come to life.”

This year’s featured alumna was designer Rose Mae Turner ’07 who showcased “Lunar,” a resort swimwear collection fresh for the 2017 season. Turner is the founder and head designer of Rosina~Mae, a contemporary women’s-wear line that specializes in sustainable beachwear, swimwear, and apparel. Turner’s fashion line is currently manufactured in Manhattan’s Garment District in New York City. President Donna Carroll presented Turner with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the end of the Sunday April 2 show.

President Carroll also presented other student awards on Sunday. Senior Quinlan Milne-Rojek won the award for Outstanding Senior Collection while fellow senior Elizabeth Eaton won the award for Outstanding Individual Design. Members of the junior class were recognized for their work when junior Justin Suon was awarded with the Up & Coming Designer award, as well as the Carole Zucco Award for Excellence in Design. Junior Aja Saverson was awarded with the Carole Zucco Award for Excellence in Merchandising and junior Amy Diaz-Hablich won the award for Excellence in Merchandising.

Bill Kerr, a professor who teaches graphic design in the Art Department here at Dominican, was impressed with the artistic and professional caliber of “Exhibition.” Kerr said: “The direction and concept of the show including the layout of the runway to the choice of music, the level of fit, finish and creativity of the fashions and even the photography and design of the programs was the most cohesive and unified I’ve seen in the decade that I’ve been attending these shows. For anyone who missed out, there’s always next year’s show to which you can look forward!”