The Daily Illini

Editorial: Campus community came together to support RACES

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

Students of the University are making significant strides toward raising community awareness of rape culture on college campuses.

Through the recent “It’s on Us” campaign, the multitude of annual events at the Women’s Resource Center and other miscellaneous philanthropy events, students continue to learn both the truth about rape culture in college and what they can do to make things better in their community.

Recently, the University’s Greek life put on an event large enough to not only make a significant impact on the hearts of its participants, but on an organization that makes a difference in the community — Champaign-Urbana Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services, or RACES.

The University’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council teamed up Monday night to show a screening of the documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” at Lincoln Hall. The documentary sheds light on college rape culture and sends a powerful message regarding the action being taken to stop it, or lack thereof.

Admission to the event was free, but donations were being collected at the door to support an organization that is wrongfully dying.

RACES is owed nearly $200,000 by the state and has been denied that funding for eight months now, so unless they receive their funding elsewhere, Champaign will be without this great organization.

RACES, according to its website, provides, “free, confidential services to anyone who has been affected by sexual assault, abuse, or harassment,” as well as “public education and training to schools, employers, and other organizations throughout (their) service area.”

The University’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council’s recent showing of “The Hunting Ground” has been the community’s largest event thus far to help save RACES, and this is something of which everyone on campus should be proud.

Greek communities on campuses across the U.S. have developed negative reputations when it comes to issues like sexual assault.

The unity of our Greek community in helping RACES shows that our campus has a broader understanding of the importance of sexual assault knowledge and prevention.

But it’s not just the Greeks who are making this major difference.

Every single student on campus who has donated their time or money to keep RACES afloat is part of a fantastic campus movement that shows that Illini will not stand by while RACES fears closure.

Saving RACES is bringing our campus together, and we at The Daily Illini hope that students continue to help however they can until the group is safe once more.

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