April 29, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Taking back the night

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To the Editor:

Re: “Collegetown Burglary Keeps Residents on Edge,” Opinion, April 26

Ithaca is a safe place. Cornell is an even safer one. I’ve heard this from friends, from teachers and from my own parents when they visit. I’ve thought it myself more times than I can count. I consider myself lucky to be a student here, and I walk home alone at night often — a privilege I take for granted. It gets easy to take it for granted in a place like Ithaca. A safe place. This is what we tell ourselves, and, fortunately, most of the time we’re right. It’s only when something bad happens, to us or to someone we know, that we re-think our position.

Take Back The Night is an internationally held rally and march devoted to the end of sexual assault and domestic violence. It also stands, I believe, as an example of direct action that we as students can take, not to forget about these sad events or unfortunate experiences, but to protest the very unsafe nature of our streets, our campus and our classrooms. We can reach out to each other and stand up for each other, and we can empower ourselves and our community. This year, Ithaca has been chosen as one of the Ten Points of Light, a nationwide candlelight vigil to support survivors of violence. This Thursday, April 29, on behalf of the Cornell Women’s Resource Center and the Ithaca Advocacy Center, I and many others will be marching from Ho Plaza into the Ithaca Commons, following remarks from President Skorton at 6:30 pm. We sincerely hope you’ll join us. It’s time to remember those we have lost and those who have suffered. It’s time to feel safe again, in our streets and on our campus. It’s time to take back the night.

Claire Barbour ’10