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F.O.R.C.E. brings awareness to CSULB dorms

Jaqueleen Larson

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The Feminist Organization Reclaiming Consciousness and Equality (F.O.R.C.E.) plans to hold consciousness-raising forums in the dorms at Cal State Long Beach about sexual assault and other issues.

A woman who was sexually assaulted at Long Beach City College last Tuesday sparked sadness in Marcela Chavez, director of the Women’s Resource Center at CSULB.

“It just means that we have to work that much harder to ensure the university is a safe place, especially for women. The consciousness-raising groups were already in motion because of the rhetorical implications of ‘Cherry Bust,’ and now the events that have happened at LBCC solidify the need for these groups,” said F.O.R.C.E. members about their motivation.

Cherry Bust is one of the first fraternity parties of the semester and was thrown last month at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house.

The women and men of F.O.R.C.E. said it is important to talk to female freshmen in particular to be aware that most of the time victims know their attacker, and it brings up the question, “Why would I turn in my best friend when I may have helped cause it?” Recharte said.

The group also said that in the United States we live in a “rape culture,” meaning the first thought is to blame the victim because she must have brought it on herself. The women said a portion of the dorm forums are dedicated to breaking this misconception and educating girls to be able to “identify and define sexual assault,” according to Recharte.

“It can be anything from rape to some guy grabbing your boob,” explained a F.O.R.C.E. member.

The groups will also educate students about sexually transmitted diseases and other issues that come up in the dorms, as well as offer resources to protect themselves, Recharte said.

Members of F.O.R.C.E. will visit a different dorm each week and have a different topic each month.

The meetings will be in an informal and comfortable environment, allowing attendees to share their experiences, as well as “talk about what’s not being talked about,” Recharte said. Condoms and lubricants will be given out. F.O.R.C.E. is also working to purchase special pH strips that test drinks for GHB, also known as the “date rape” drug.

On or off campus, F.O.R.C.E. meetings are held at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Women’s Resource Center. More information can be attained by calling (562) 985-8576 or visiting myspace.com/forceclub.

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