Students at Auburn University (AU) in Alabama protested a series of on-campus sexual assaults Tuesday.
The institution’s Campus Safety office informed students of the third alleged sexual assault incident in one week, saying a female told police that she was raped at a fraternity house and sustained physical injuries.
After receiving the message, sophomore Jordan Musantry and other concerned students aired their sentiments on social media, calling on fellow students to wear red and join in a gathering to uphold the rights of women at Auburn.
The sophomore told Georgia-based media firm WRBL that around 500 people showed up at the event, carrying placards with statements such as “Do better, Auburn,” “We believe you,” and “It shouldn’t be part of the college experience to experience sexual assault.”
Although the participants learned that the victims did not proceed with filing an official police report, Musantry said the rally was still an important step. “Even if they don’t want to report what happened and aren’t going to go forth at all, you know people are behind you,” he remarked.
Drawing Inspiration from Other Schools
Musantry revealed that the protest held on Samford Lawn was inspired by students from schools such as the University of Nebraska and the University of Kansas calling attention to sexual assaults.
With the help of social media, the organizers were able to quickly spread announcements about banding together for a serious cause. “We all saw that on TikTok and we were able to learn. For us, we wouldn’t have done it without those schools doing it,” he explained.
Musantry disclosed that he and his fellow students will continue protesting sexual assault on campus until the university takes faster and more effective action to address it.