By Garrett Cecere
Bundled up and waving signs, faculty members marched across campus on Feb. 13 to show their support for members of the College community.
The Faculty Senate organized the march, which began at the bronze lion statue near the Brower Student Center at 11:30 a.m., continued through a slushy Alumni Grove and concluded on the steps of Green Hall after approximately 25 minutes.
“I thought (the march) was terrific,” said College President Kathryn Foster, who walked with the faculty. “It’s such a sign that affirms our values when something happens on campus, so I thought it was outstanding.”
Professors marched for various reasons. Some marched in support of sexual assault and hate-crime victims, while others marched in general support of the campus community.
Nonna Sorokina, a professor of finance, walked for a safe campus for everybody, no matter their role at the College.
“(We are marching for) students, faculty, staff, guests, anybody who happens to be here,” Sorokina said.
The march also became a way for some professors to voice their support for those affected by social biases. One sign read, “be aware of your bias!” while another read, “I support survivors of hate crimes and sexual violence. I believe you.”
While some members held posters in support of assault victims, others walked for inclusivity.
We’re marching to support an inclusive campus for all students at TCNJ and … just show faculty and staff support for the students,” said Nick McBride, a professor in the music department.
One poster had several phrases, some of which included, “not if she was drunk,” “not if she was queer,” “not if she was wearing a miniskirt” and “not if the victim was male.” In the middle of the poster were the words, “rape is never the victim’s fault.”
Joanna Herres, a psychology professor walked for victims of sexual, physical and racial violence.
“I’m marching in support of women who experience sexual violence and people of color who have experienced violence because of the color of their skin,” she said.
Candice Feiring, also a psychology professor, said she marched for many reasons, some of which included the need to spread more awareness of Anti-Violence Initiatives.
“(I march) in support of students who are struggling with assault, encouraging them to come forward, that we want to listen to what they have to say and help them,” Feiring said. “And we do, I think, have a pretty good program in AVI, but it can be better.”