This article previously listed Jordan Chow as an organizer of the protest. The protest's organizers, on behalf of the Sexual Assault Awareness Club, reached out to The Plainsman informing us that Chow was not in a leadership role in SAAC. The article has been updated to remove Chow's description as an organizer of the protest. The Plainsman regrets this error.
Auburn students came back to Toomer’s Corner Thursday night, signs in hand, continuing the protest against recent sexual assault cases reported on campus.
Following the announcement of three cases of sexual misconduct reported on Auburn's campus in the span of a week, students gathered at Toomer's Corner to protest the University's response and raise awareness of sexual assault.
Jordan Chow, freshman in genetics, said a cohesive group materialized after the protests earlier in the week.
“After Tuesday we were really able to finally get together and create a cohesive group, and now that group is looking for writing a letter of demands for the SGA and for the University to make sure that they know how serious we mean our words to be," Chow said.
Thursday, Sept. 16, members of the group and other students gathered to spread the word about sexual assault awareness and let the victims of these cases know that “they’re not alone and that we hear them,” Chow said.
At the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street, WTVM News from Columbus, Georgia, covered the event as students stood on all four corners to protest for a change.
“We’re also here to make sure that the University knows that we want to hold everyone accountable for what’s been done to these potential victims and that we want to know that they’re going to prioritize our safety over anything else," Chow said. "Because our family comes over any amount of image, money or sponsorship that could come our way."
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In efforts to keep the momentum of the movement going, Chow said the awareness group plans on making official fliers to advertise future protest dates.
“We demand to be taken seriously,” Chow said.
Emily Ratkowiak, senior in microbiology with minors in business and public health, served as a second leader in the protest.
“Three cases in one week is alarming, and it’s unsettling, and we’re not going to stop coming out here [to protest] until some change is made,” Ratkowiak said.
In planning for the next steps, Ratkowiak said it is important to the group to keep people aware that the issue is ongoing.
“We have outreach across Alabama with other universities that want to come and attend and other schools outside of Alabama," Ratkowiak said. “We’ve set up committees to do different activities in terms of education, outreach and survivor advocacy to continue this on and to continue the conversation."
Skye Watts, freshman majoring in art, said that as a woman she wants to protect herself and people like her.
"There should be no reason there is this high of a rate of sexual assault," said Thomas Cherones, freshman in apparel merchandising.
The sexual assault awareness group is expanding its reach across campus and has plans to host protests in the near future.
“We are going to stay strong and vigilant,” Chow said.
Destini Ambus contributed reporting for this story.
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