The 14th annual 64 Days of Nonviolence
Victoria Bresnahan – Special to the Southern News
Catherine Christy said the 64 Days of Nonviolence program can lead to a change in people’s behavior.
“For me, [the purpose of these events] is a couple of things,” said Christy, coordinator of the Sexual Assault Resource Team, also known as SART. “It shows the university’s support because there’s such a variety of organizations contributing to it. It shows the university’s commitment to end violence.”
Yi-Chun Tricia Lin, director of the women’s studies department, said the 64 Days of Nonviolence program has been a type of SCSU coalition for social justice over the past 14 years.
Lin said violence can appear as more than physically hurting someone. She said violence could be ideological, or political, or cultural, or supremacist thinking such as white, male, Christian or able-bodied supremacy.
64 Days of Nonviolence began in 1998 through Mahatma Ghandi’s grandson, Arun Ghandi, and other world organizations, said Lin. She continued to say the program spans from Jan. 30, Mahatma Ghandi’s assassination date, to Apr. 4, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination date, in celebration of their legacies.
Christy said the 64 Days of Nonviolence program allows teams like SART and the Victim Prevention, Victim Advocacy, Support Center, also known as VPAS, which Christy is also the director of, the opportunity to educate students.
She said depending on the person, facts or personal stories about sexual assault can affect someone when heard at SART’s and VPAS’s 64 Days of Nonviolence events; such as, Take Back the Night on April 18.
Additionally, Christy said students are educated on their right to report any type of sexual or domestic violence they may experience.
“We want to stop the violence, but we also want to show support to the victimized,” said Christy.
Andrea Resnisky, a senior VPAS peer educator, said she believes SCSU students are not violent. She said the students are open to others, which allows them to have rallies such as the No Ban, No Wall protest that took place outside Hilton C. Buley Library last week.
“I think President Joe does a really good job at making sure we are accepting of one another,” said Resnisky. “In the mission statement, it does say that we are [allowed to be] who we are and that’s accepting of others.”
Resnisky said society does not appear to be as open as the SCSU community.
“It’s kind of sad and disappointing because we as human beings should rely on each other for support and we should be providing equal opportunity,” said Resnisky. “But everyone has different views and outlooks on life so not everyone agrees.”
A Southern Poverty Law Center, also known as the SPLC, report found 867 hate incidents occurred in almost every state from election day 2016 to the report’s publication on Nov. 29, 2016. According to the report, the most common hate crimes were anti-immigrant and anti-black. The SPLC report says this number represents a small fraction of the actual amount of hate crimes that occurred.
Luis Morales Sandrez, a freshman sociology major, said SCSU students are not violent and are kind to other students. Additionally, he said nonviolent protests and stances can motivate people to share their opinions and listen to others.
“I’m not into protests, but I was curious of what they [protestors at No Ban, No Wall] were saying,” said Sandrez. “It makes you think about your own opinion, even though you might not share it, you still think about it.”