Rise Together


On Feb. 14, crowds of students gathered in the Student Union Atrium and participated in a flash mob as part of the campus’ “V-day” festivities. The dance was part of the movement One Billion Rising, which calls attention to the issue of violence against women.

Over 200 people were in attendance in the Atrium to show support for the cause. There was another flash mob in the village for members of the New Paltz community to participate in.

We at The New Paltz Oracle want to commend students for showing their support in the fight against violence against women, and hope that actions like this will continue in the future.

In the past, we’ve talked about how we constantly hear students discuss social change and activism, yet fail to do more than hold mere discussion. It isn’t that discussion isn’t helpful, but talking about issues in a circle of people who share the same views and not doing anything from there hardly helps anything.

With a flash mob that had so many participants, the New Paltz community proved that we’re past the point of only open dialogue and have moved on to taking a physical stand against violence aimed toward women.

New Paltz has always been progressive in thought, and issues of violence against women have been a major topic of discussion these past couple of years. In New Paltz, we are able to recognize the severe consequences of rape culture, slut-shaming and general inequality between men and women.

But outside of this bubble of progression, these aren’t topics in the conversation at all. It’s too often we see in our media culture a gross lack in knowledge concerning women’s health and the violence women go through every day. Needless to say, we as a campus organization hope to see these types of movements continue in the future.

And, like all social movements, we hope one large event will not be the final destination in the battle combating violence against women.

It’s great that these events are planned, organized and become a reality, but we need to see things like this continue in the future. The battle between violence against women and progression is far from over, and the one billion rising movement is a step forward in the right direction. We need to see this progress continue not just in our community, but in other communities as well.

We are a diverse group with diverse backgrounds. Here in New Paltz we come together as a united front against such pointless violence and trauma, but we need to stand up against such unnecessary grief in our communities back home. There is plenty of progress waiting to happen in our hometowns, and we need to take our knowledge back there and spread it.

What we do here in New Paltz is meaningless if we contain it to our bubble of progress. We’re privileged to live in a place so willing to make social change, but that willingness is wasted if we aren’t brave and determined enough to bring the knowledge we have to our communities back home.