Students go homeless for women’s rights


For one night, about 25 students ditched their apartments and dorm rooms and opted to sleep in a “box city” near Building 45. The April 1 camp-out was part of an out-of-class project for a Gender and Conflict course through the Honors Program, where students sleept outside despite breezy conditions to raise awareness for sexual violence against women in lesser developed countries.

The most recent event the students were publicizing was the rape and genital mutilation of women in the wake of the recent violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Marianne Mckey, freshman English major.

“Scores of women are publically raped by men, and [the women’s] genitals are
mutilated,” she said. “Afterwards they are ostracized, and they end up in refugee camps. So we did this to simulate what life would be like in one of those camps.”

Congo is one of Africa’s leading countries with immense economic resources and exports including diamonds, gold, oil and rubber. As of late, the country’s five-year conflict has been at the center of what could be dubbed as Africa’s world war, according to reports from the Associated Press and BBC.

Compiled by James Cannon II and Josh Salman.