I am going to burst!
I am so moved.
Coalition against Sexual Violence (CASV) just registered as an official student group!
I co-coordinated the group last year, but we did not make a budget for fall, so we had to get back on our feet. Last year, there were 2 of us. We did a lot from the sidelines, but people didn't really know we existed, and there was so much work! As Nick Hornby's wonderful Marcus said, "Two people isn't enough. You need backup. If you're only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you're on your own. Two isn't a large enough number. You need three at least!"
Marcus says this in the wake of his mother's suicide attempt. He's talking about people who care about each other while navigating life; I'm talking about people who work together to dismantle rape culture. I trust this doesn't suck out the meaning of his sentiment.
So this year, CASV held a preliminary meeting to see if there was greater student interest, and there was! Two new people came. We need four members to register, so that is just fine. But we need 4 people present at two workshops, and that kept getting put off. Sometimes three would show up, just to have to push the final workshop back a week.
But today! Six people came to the workshop! Six! It was important enough for two people to skip class, me to skip work, another to wedge it into her schedule... In the month since we've been active, somewhat illegally, people have found CASV and committed to it, been so happy to find that it's real! One member came from Antioch College, with their great consent policy, another member wants to start up the campus survivor support group again, another is a banner-painting flyer-making star, and we've met with Vagina Monologues, Theatre of the Oppressed, SafePlace, and the Women's Resource Center already! We have people from other groups and organizations coming to our meetings and trainings already!
This support thrills me. I've been on campus every day this week to meet with people about CASV, and I'll be there again for it tomorrow. There are already so many people and groups who want to work to end rape culture and help people heal, and we are already learning so much from each other every step of the way.
Six people came today! Five of whom were at our meeting yesterday!
Student Activities has been supportive in letting us meet on campus before registering, and in telling us how excited they are to have CASV back. The Folk Dance Alliance coordinator allowed me to table under their name to initially get the word out about our resurgence, saying to the woman at the front desk who did not quite approve, "I only do this for groups I really care about."
It's so easy to get bogged down in despair as Feminists, as people who see all the bullshit and the cruelty, so I wanted to share the good stuff.
This feels so much better than just being two.
This feels so great.
(Also: If Theatre of the Oppressed is in yr area, check it out. The fellow we're working with primarily works at Planned Parenthood, and the first thing he said at CASV's meeting yesterday was that his ultimate vision is a world in which all sex is enthusiastically consensual, and when that happens, it will have such an impact. The world will look much different. And we're working together to help give each other the tools to get closer to that reality.)
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