THE PACE CHRONICLE

Omega Phi Beta Hosts Pace’s First SlutWalk

Cecilia Levine, Managing Editor

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Last week Omega Phi Beta (The Betas) hosted its fifth annual “Week of Illumination,” a week-long, series of events dedicated to shedding light on issues that affect women globally. Each event addressed a separate issue and took on a different theme, pertaining to each of the five senses.

Wednesday’s program introduced Pace to the “SlutWalk”, a protest against rape culture.

“Rape culture stresses that in cases of sexual or domestic violence, blame is on the victim,” said the Beta’s in their opening presentation.

In Jan. 2011, a Toronto based university held a campus safety informational in which a police officer said, “…women who don’t want to get raped probably shouldn’t dress like a slut.” The incident sparked the first ever SlutWalk, which quickly flooded streets from Argentina and Brazil to Singapore and now, Pleasantville.

“Tonight’s theme is taste,” senior business management major, political science minor and Omega Phi Beta President Drea Mayorga said. “The event is about your taste in what it is that is considered a slut.”

The Beta sisters felt that this type of activism could be appropriate for Pace’s Pleasantville campus. Both males and females were encouraged to partake.

“I am here to see why women are viewed in certain ways and to see what the different ways that slutiness is viewed,” junior marketing and advertising major Christian Ruiz said. “I am here to support The Betas; this is a very interesting topic to me.”

The SlutWalk required participants to take action by putting an end to slut shaming through education and engagement. Activists created posters with words of their own convictions to match those of the victims that hung on the walls of Butcher suite. The Betas then proceeded to lead the event’s participants in a walk around Kessel in which they carried their signs and chanted, “Blame the system, not the victim!” and “1, 2, 3, 4, we won’t take it anymore!”

“It’s really empowering to see how the Pace community has responded to our events this week,” Mayorga said. “One student posted a screenshot to Instagram in response to a patronizing tweet about women and how this type of negativity should not be posted to social media.”

Participants agreed that The Week of Illumination was successful in its purpose to expose the bigger picture of the way in which women are treated in society.

“At Tuesday’s event, ‘Under the Influence’, my eyes were opened to how women call each other [The B-Word],” freshman education major Jasmine Amaro said. “I learned how some words are used in passing, like how a guy doesn’t always wear a tee-shirt but when he does it’s a ‘wife beater’”.

Other events focused on how society judges the words that are heard and the social interpretation of language, or the condescending meaning of what is seen in the media and how people tend to let it pass them by without question. Thursday’s event, “Scars”, marked the end of the Week of Illumination.

“Our final event was about the different scars that women have,” Mayorga said. “From domestic violence and cancer to emotional scars, we don’t want women to define themselves by them or let their scars deter them from reaching their dreams.”

The Week of Illumination proved to be an emotional and moving experience for participants.

“There is no way someone could come to these events and not walk away without getting something out of them,” Amaro said.

The Betas plan on hosting the sixth annual Week of Illumination in Feb. 2015.

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About the Writer
Cecilia Levine, Managing Editor

Cecilia Levine is a senior applied psychology major from West Hartford, CT. She began writing for the paper as Feature Editor in the spring of 2013. When...

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