Denim Day Educates Students on Sexual Awareness
Various clubs informed students about Denim Day during Wednesday’s awareness-themed club day.
Published: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Updated: Sunday, April 29, 2012 13:04
In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Valley College’s social awareness-themed April 25 club day at Monarch Square enlightened students as they approached various booths to learn about Denim Day.
Dance club President Noelle Andressen-Kale and other members manned a sexual assault information booth along with Healthy Advocacy Response Team member and Physician Assistant Sonia Nodal, handing out T-shirts, stickers and pamphlets in support of educating students about rape.
“Thirty-five of every 1,000 women who attend colleges or universities experience an attempted or completed rape each year,” said Nodal.
Along with informing students who were unaware of the history behind Denim Day, the dance club also did a performance portraying the emotional aspects of being sexually assaulted. The dance served as a way of protesting rape and educating the public through an abstract form, further rounding out the historical and informational side offered by the booth.
“The way we dress is never an invitation to harm us,” Andressen-Kale said, “and the dance is based on that premise.”
Andressen-Kale, who has been publicly speaking about rape for approximately eight years, practiced with the rest of her team for two and a half weeks choreographing their piece. The members wore jeans and complementary Denim Day shirts as their uniform to protest while dancing.
Each of the four dance members created a mask with a particular emotion or facial expression drawn on it—from no facial expression to one full of sadness and tears—depicting the emotional turmoil rape victims experience from their trauma.
“With [my mask] it's more of showing that not only [do] people hide their feelings inside, but they also show it through tears,” said dance club member Star Brown.
With the exception of the last dancer, whose mask was expressionless, the three previous dancers moved slowly throughout the performance. The dancer with the blank mask moved with more force than the softened choreography of those before her. At the end, all the dancers banded together and removed their masks.
In support of the dance club’s efforts, many other clubs wore Denim Day stickers, shirts or, like Tau Alpha Epsilon, placed a HART brochure on their booth to promote the educational awareness of rape.
The campus’ feminist and sociology experiment clubs put together a poster full of statistics regarding the misconceptions of rape.
According to the clubs’ poster, “Forty-six percent of eighth and ninth graders think being raped is sometimes the victim’s fault [and] 40 percent felt wearing sexy clothes or drunkenness by the victim causes or excuses rape.”
Apart from the poster, the clubs collaborated with each other and put together an upcoming Take Back the Night event focusing on the idea that “rape is never warranted.”
The feminist and sociology experiment clubs’ Take Back the Night event will take place Friday, May 4 at 6 p.m. in Monarch Square. For more information regarding sexual assault prevention, visit the Student Health Center or search lavc.edu/sexualassaultpolicy.