Students marched around campus last Thursday during the annual “Light the Night” event hosted by Student Housing and Residence Life in partnership with Student Life, WalkSafer, and the women’s shelter Interim Place.
Although “Light the Night” has been an annual event for residence students for many years, this was the first time the event was opened to off-residence students as well.
According to SHRL community partner assistant Kristen Schaper, the purpose of the event was to spread awareness of “power-based personal violence”.
Students were handed bags with lights, which they carried around the residences and the Student Centre.
After the march, students finger-painted on billboards to symbolize that their hands would never be involved in any violent action.
Farheen Khan, manager of development at Interim Place, spoke at the event. Interim Place is a local shelter that provides support for women and children who have been affected by violence.
Khan expressed satisfaction with the turnout, saying that it was greater than in previous years. She said that Interim Place will continue to support UTM for this cause.
Some performances organized by Fatima Ghafoori, Student Life community engagement programming assistant, ended the event.
“The cause is really important; I don’t think people know enough about it, so when I saw it, I thought, ‘I really want to do this,’ ” said Noor Rahmeh, a first-year commerce student living on residence. “I thought it was fun—I liked the idea, I liked the hand paint, meeting people, and also supporting the cause.”
Campus Police provided refreshments.
Flyers distributed at the event noted that there are more than 3,300 women forced to sleep in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence and that every six days in Canada, a woman is killed by an intimate partner.
They also pointed out that one of every six boys experiences sexual abuse before the age of 16 and that 36% of domestic violence is carried out against men.