’Sexual assault impacts everyone’ | Students participate in annual Men Against Violence walk

Adaeze Umeukeje | For the Collegian Apr 9, 2024

The Men Against Violence March participants walk under the Millennium Science Building during the one mile walk around campus on Sunday, April 7, 2024, in University Park, Pa. Sienna Pinney

The Gender Equity Center and Interfraternity Council hosted the annual Men Against Violence Walk to get students involved in violence prevention efforts and play a positive role in creating change.

Registration for the event began at 1:30 p.m. on the HUB-Robeson Lawn Sunday, with stations for people to check in, receive a free t-shirt and create signs for the march. At 2 p.m. the keynote speeches began.

Ryan Zimmerman, director for this year’s MAV Walk, said he felt inspired to take a leadership role in planning this event because sexual violence is an issue that’s overlooked and ignored on campus.

“Fostering a community where everyone feels heard and respected is very important,” Zimmerman, a third-year studying aerospace engineering, said.

For Zimmerman, the walk is an opportunity to show survivors of sexual violence that they have a community to turn to for support.

“It’s really cool that we get to provide support for (survivors of violence in such a communal way, and I can’t wait to see what we do next year,” Zimmerman said.

Adam, a student who wished to remain anonymous, said he felt a sense of pride participating in the march as a member of the IFC.

“It’s disappointing that gender equity is still an argued topic in today’s society, and I believe that we should continue to stand with women,” Adam said.

Participants of the walk could be seen walking around campus in bright blue t-shirts, holding signs with encouraging words for survivors.