FEB. 8, 2001

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu



V-day scheduled at CSUB


A campus anti-violence awareness day in conjunction with the worldwide V-Day is scheduled at California State University, Bakersfield on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

V-day is a global movement to end violence against girls and women, said CSUB criminal justice professor Doris Hall. "V-Day is a vision of a world without violence against women," she said. "What we're doing is trying to raise people's awareness and conscience about this issue."

Hall said CSUB's Criminal Justice Club is sponsoring the day's activities. Students in two of Hall's classes will be circulating petitions against female genital mutilation and against the Taliban's repression of women in Afghanistan. She said students will also pass out red and black intertwined ribbons. "We want to draw attention to the plight of women," Hall said. "Black represents oppression, and red represents innocent women's blood that has been spilled."

Janet Millar, a counselor in CSUB's counseling center and chair of CSUB's Campus Violence Prevention Committee, said she hoped V-Day activities would also call attention to CSUB's commitment to a safe campus.

"Historically we have had a safe campus, and we're taking steps to ensure that the campus will continue to be safe," Millar said. She cited the new emergency phones installed all across campus, escort service for people wishing to be escorted to their cars, and a new police substation in the residence halls as evidence of CSUB's commitment.

"Information and education is the key," she said. "We do this on a continual basis with students, administrators, staff and faculty." Brochures and fliers are available, as are training sessions and other measures, Millar said. "We do this on a continual basis.

"What's important is that people understand that violence just doesn't happen. We educate people to be aware of escalating levels of violence and the appropriate steps to take to combat it," Millar said.

According to the V-Day website, "V-Day is a decision, an energy, a spirit, a day - Valentine's Day - for which annual theatrical and artistic events are produced in local, national and international venues to raise money and to transform consciousness."

V-Day was born in 1998 as an outgrowth of playwright Eve Ensler's Obie-Award winning play, "The Vagina Monologues." ... To date, Ensler's play has been the centerpiece of V-Day events. As Ensler performed the piece in small towns and large cities around the world, hundreds of women told her their stories of rape, incest, domestic battery and genital mutilation. She came to believe that something widespread and dramatic needed to be done to stop the violence. A group of women in New York joined Ensler and founded V-Day.

For more information about CSUB's V-Day activities, please call Hall at 661/664-3121.

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