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Men Against Rape Holds First Meeting

By Nalina Sombuntham, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Men Against Rape held their first meeting last night in the Leverett Junior Common Room.

Six members met with Juan Carlos Areán, prevention specialist at the newly formed Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.

The group said its first priority is to gain College recognition, which it hopes to have by the end of this week.

President of operations Matt H. Eckhouse ’04 said the group formed during Take Back the Night (TBTN) week last spring. He said that the founding members of the group wanted to give men the opportunity to speak out against rape “without putting themselves out there.”

Eckhouse and president of finance Luke B. Hedrick ’05 both said that female-dominated groups against sexual violence often alienate men on campus.

“Too often there isn’t a safe place for men to talk about rape,” Eckhouse said.

He said men should be involved in stopping sexual violence.

“It’s not up to [females] to stop rape. If the females could have stopped rape, they would have done it,” Eckhouse said.

The group has already collected about 200 pledges against rape from first-year men during Freshman Week’s “Sex Signals,” an educational presentation on sexual assault. He said that the group would table next week outside of the Science Center to get more pledges.

Eckhouse also plans to hold monthly discussions, host speakers, watch documentaries about sexual violence and hold a “white ribbon” campaign to show solidarity against rape, tentatively scheduled for the week of Oct. 20.

—Staff writer Nalina Sombuntham can be reached at sombunth@fas.harvard.edu.

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