The Campus Times

The Student News Site of Campbellsville University

The Campus Times

The Campus Times

Safety is ‘top priority’

Campbellsville University hosts Take Back the Night event to spread awareness about sexual assault
Andrew Swift
Campbellsville University students, faculty and staff gathered at the Student Activities Center (SAC) on Thursday, April 4, for the Take Back the Night event to spread awareness about sexual assault. Student Patricia Loka shared stories of what she has seen in her home country of Democratic Republic of Congo. Loka compared the events at home to what she has seen here and emphasized there’s a need for change everywhere.

Campus safety has been top of mind for Campbellsville University students this semester.

The murder of freshman Josiah Kilman on Feb. 24, and reports of two alleged sexual assaults, have made many students feel on edge. To spread awareness of these issues and to encourage students to speak up about anything they might experience, CU hosted its annual Take Back the Night event inside of the Student Activities Center (SAC) on Thursday, April 4.

Take Back the Night is a charitable foundation whose mission is to end all forms of sexual assault. According to its website, an average of one in three females, one in six males and two in three transgender persons have been victims of sexual assault. On college campuses, that number changes to one in six females and one in 16 males.

Several groups and individuals had the opportunity to speak to the audience about what they have experienced, how these encounters can be prevented and what resources there are for victims.

One of the speakers at the event was international student Patricia Loka from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Loka shared what she has witnessed in her home country on behalf of the Panzi Foundation, which works with victims of sexual assault. The Panzi Foundation helps those who have experienced these violent encounters from rebel lords and local militia. They provide medical care, psychosocial assistance and legal services for the victims to ensure their well-being.

Being a student at CU, Loka feels it’s very important for students who have fallen victim to sexual assault to know they have a voice and they do not have to feel ostracized or looked down upon.

“I like how they send out emails to inform us whenever anything like that happens,” Loka said. “It is important for us to be aware of what is happening and that they are doing everything they can to make sure everyone who is involved is treated fairly. Even those who are accused, making sure that they are not being accused falsely while also providing justice to victims who have been violated.”

To conclude the Take Back the Night event, attendees gathered into prayer circles to pray for those victimized by sexual assault. (Andrew Swift)

General Resident Manager Mirena Combs also spoke about safety on campus. Being a student who lives on campus while also overseeing students in dorms, Combs has a unique perspective on two sides of the issue.

“I definitely feel safe on campus,” said Combs. “Even though those things happened here, I think they happen everywhere around the world. If we look at the statistics shared today, it is sad to say that it has just become a normal part of our lives. However, our campus is already very supportive as it is. A great example is how we all gathered in support of Josiah (Kilman). So, even though those things have happened here, I know that all of those victims, faculty and staff included, have all been supported. I know I am safe, I know my students are safe and I know CU is a safe place.”

According to Title IX Director Fred Frantino, Take Back the Night is scheduled in spring every year to spread awareness about the issue of sexual assault and the victims who are too afraid to speak out. Frantino has expanded the Title IX office from being a small part-time position on campus to being a full-time position with a major amount of help and support from President Dr. Joe Hopkins and many other faculty and students.

“The guy who was here before did a great job, but he was only able to be here half the time,” Frantino said. “Being full time, I can put all my effort into this program by setting up events like this and better coordinate investigations of on-campus reports.”

Frantino said there are many instances when victims are afraid to report being sexually assaulted because of various reasons, such as embarrassment, religious beliefs, not feeling like there will be any support or to protect the suspects name and reputation. To better ensure the support of victimized students, Frantino has come up with various ways in which those people can feel more comfortable with reporting their encounters. One of those is the Title IX Office’s new webpage (

“We have created a webpage that allows people to gain access to forms to report sexual assault and student misconduct,” Frantino said. “We have connected with the Adanta Group, CU counseling services and we have created a team that meets every week in order to troubleshoot the issues of sexual assault and create a support system for those victims who feel unheard or alone.”

Campbellsville University President Dr. Joe Hopkins, who also attended Take Back the Night, said the main principal behind this event was to educate students on how to protect themselves and each other.

“I really enjoyed when Charity Powell spoke and said we should be Christ for one another,” said Dr. Hopkins. “I think right now is a great time to step back and reflect on that statement so that we can all be better for one another. It is important for all of us to look out for each other and to center ourselves around Campbellsville’s Christian mission.”

Dr. Hopkins said there are many things happening on campus to increase support for those who are victims of sexual assault including a greater number of people on council for investigations, increased surveillance around campus and the support and growth of Frantino and the Title IX office.

“Ensuring the safety of the students is my top priority,” Hopkins said. “Above all else, making sure everyone here feels safe and helping them realize that all of the faculty and staff, including myself, are always here to help.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Campus Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Campbellsville University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Andrew Swift

Andrew Swift is a senior at Campbellsville University. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Swift plans on pursuing a career in the world of audio-visual services.

Swift was originally planning on playing basketball throughout college, but different circumstances led him to start bowling. He’s a member of the CU bowling team, and says it’s the greatest thing to happen to him.

In addition to bowling, Swift also enjoys playing basketball, guitar and spending time with his friends and girlfriend.

Swift hopes to work in a big venue working lights and sound for concerts after he graduates.

Donate to The Campus Times

Comments (0)

All The Campus Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *