College rock concerts are a dime a dozen; gigs for a good cause are few and far between. Sigma Phi Epsilon will host their seventh annual Rock Against Rape concert outside, between the baseball and softball fields, this Saturday at 7 p.m. for free. Several speakers will share the stage with Virginia-based alternative rockers Mae.
“We love shows like these because we really want to step up awareness and make a difference,” Mae lead guitarist Zach Gehring said. “We love the state of Maine. It’s beautiful, and we haven’t been there in a long time, so we’re looking forward to it.” Mae has repeatedly appeared on the Vans Warped Tour and toured with MTV mainstays The Fray, OK Go and Brand New.
“They’ve got the big name recognition which should draw a large crowd and that’s crucial when spreading the message on awareness,” SigEp President Owen McCarthy said.
Behind the lights and sounds of what aims to be an exhilarating concert, there lies an important message. Safe Campus Project coordinator Carey Nason said. “The intent of Rock Against Rape is to raise awareness and promote education of sexual assault. The more aware we are, the better able we are to address issues.”
Last year’s concert was so popular that the men from SigEp received the Barbara Bodwell Volunteer Award. The prestigious award is presented to the Greek organization on campus that hosts the most innovative and impressive volunteer effort.
According to the University of Maine Public Safety Web site, 25 cases of forcible sex offenses were reported from 2004 to 2006 on campus. The 2007 Maine Crime Victimization Report states that 28.5 percent of all Maine women claim to have been victim to sexual assault.
“It’s extremely important for young women to attend events like these. They need to get out of the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mindset,” said Monica Bushey, a University of Maine rape aggression defense instructor.
With an annual attendance of approximately 1,000 students, the concert has become one of the more anticipated events on campus. “Everyone is going to have a great time, and most importantly, it will be a safe environment to spend a Saturday night,” McCarthy added.
The rain venue for Rock Against Rape is the Field House. For further details, contact Patrick Pittis on FirstClass.