Honors Program Students Organize Campus Walk to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Students, staff and faculty at SUNY Orange will join their peers and colleagues throughout New York in a statewide initiative to raise awareness of domestic violence when they conduct their local “Walk with Me” program at the Middletown campus on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Sponsored locally by New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and organized on the SUNY Orange campus by the college’s Honors Program students, “Walk with Me” is a silent procession designed primarily to mobilize college students in the fight against domestic violence. Last year, 23 college campuses across the state participated in the inaugural walk and it is expected that an even larger number will be involved this year.

However, the event is not limited to student participation. It is open to faculty, staff and members of the general public.

“Our goal is to raise as much awareness of domestic violence as we can,” said Kimberly Striefler, a SUNY Orange Honors Program student and one of the event’s organizers. “Not many people know how common domestic abuse and violence are, so initiatives like this are so important.

“A lot of schools across the state will be participating, which should help bring this to people’s attention on a larger scale,” she added, “and hopefully we can do our part to raise the awareness locally.”

Thursday’s walk at SUNY Orange will begin with an 11:30 a.m. ceremony in the Fireside Lounge of the George F. Shepard Student Center, 115 South Street, Middletown. The brief program will include a welcome by the Honors Program students; remarks from Catherine Chew, SUNY Orange vice president for academic affairs; and a short address from keynote speaker Michelle McKeon, director of Orange County Safe Homes.

The walk will begin at Noon and will wind through the center of the Middletown campus. The route was designed by Sheila Stepp, chair of the college’s Movement Sciences Department, and students from the Movement Sciences program lead walkers along the designated path. The event will be concluded by 12:20 p.m. in order for students to attend their 12:30 p.m. classes on time.

October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The “Walk with Me” program was launched last October by New York State Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera (80th District, Bronx, N.Y.).

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940