“You don’t know how many people have been raped. Most people, who are raped, are raped by people they know. You don’t know how many people, what has happened in these dorms and no one has been able to come forward,” Dominique E. Moore of Zeta Sigma Chi said.
Zeta Sigma Chi sorority will be hosting an intimate talk called “Do You D.A.R.E” on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 7-9 p.m. in room 360 of the Student Center. D.A.R.E stands for “Defying, Adversity, Regaining, Empowerment” and will be the overall message of the intimate event.
“Adversity is something that we all face in different ways,” Moore said. “In order to do something you have to defy things, you have to do it for yourself first.”
LaSonja Shantell Hansford, one of six founding members of the Omicron Chapter here at Eastern Michigan University, will be the guest speaker and use this platform to share her story and give a voice to women on campus.
In light of the violence that has occurred on campus, particularly the two reported rapes in Putnam Residence Hall last month and the sexual assault after Halloween at Hill Hall, it has affected her greatly and her perception of rape culture.
“It’s looked at as such an awful thing, like ‘you did something wrong,’ that they don’t want to talk about it. For instance, we just had our ‘Slut Walk’ in October,” Hansford said. “The basis [of that] is just because I dress this way doesn’t mean that I’m inviting you to do anything to my body. What we do is dress in provocative clothes and walk around on campus and we have different sayings, ‘No Means No,’ ‘Respect My Body,’ or whatever the case may be just to make a point. We’re not asking to be raped.”
Both Moore and Hansford voiced their disappointment and frustrations with the university in their actions in assuring students on their safety and to value any voices of concern. Scheduling public forums and Q & A’s in light of violence isn’t enough and only scratches the surface of the fear that exists and the impact that’s felt. Zeta Sigma Chi wants to take that extra step that EMU hasn’t done and reach out to the women on campus.
“I just don’t understand how…as much as Eastern is for their student population, so many things within the last two years keep happening. I feel like they take charge of the event, look at it for a couple of weeks and then they let it die down,” she said.
Moore added her observation of similar instances on campus.
“When your university don’t even acknowledge you, which makes you feel [this] small. And it makes you feel like you’re the scum on someone’s shoe that your story got out, not from where you pay tuition; it’s the Ann Arbor news,” Moore said. “Someone you don’t even know, you may not ever see but your campus is like this quiet whisper of like, ‘Did you hear?’ And once you hear, you’re so upset but the only conversation stops with your group of friends.”
The overall goal is to fill in EMU’s gaps by giving students, especially females, a safe haven and intimate environment to speak up and share their stories as well as absorb the meaningful messages from speakers.
“They’re going to expect some real reality, some real empowerment and a story,” Hansford said. “You’re going to hear a story from me and other people about their life and the things that they have went through; how it affected them at Eastern and in their everyday life.
For more information on the sorority, go to ZetaSigmaChi.com.