University welcomes Men’s Action Network to campus
The Men’s Action Network (MAN), a student organization that just arrived on campus, is established upon three goals (or the three E’s)—to educate and engage students in gender violence and toxic masculinity and to empower them to work toward extinguishing it, said senior and club founder Cedric Rudolph van Liefferenge.
“We want to get their gears rolling so maybe they will realize there is a problem here,” Liefferenge said.
Lauren Gibson, a prevention specialist at Student Wellness, agreed to co-advise the group after discussing the idea with Liefferenge at the Take Back the Night event hosted by Students Acting for Gender Equity.
Gibson said the group’s name sparked from the Delaware Men’s Education Network, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent and end domestic violence in the state of Delaware.
“We plan to workshop and talk to men about egalitarian thought, gender equality, and fighting against violence in any form–not just violence against women,” Gibson said.
The first E will focus on educating men about how violence works on campus and in the world, along with how they can work to stop it, Liefferenge said. Engaging, the second E, men in conversations about violence, he continued, is always the biggest challenge. The third E is for empowerment. MAN members hope to empower men to stand up and say something to make a ripple effect so more people do the same.
In the past, Liefferenge has been involved with groups on campus such as SAGE and Haven, and as such, he said it felt very natural to try to bring a group such as this to campus.
MAN, which had its first meeting on March 10, will hold three events this semester in order to spread the word and inform students about feminism, or what members refer to as the F word. The first event, The F Word, is planned for Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. Liefferenge said the goals of this educational program are to demystify feminism as well as other political agendas that seeks equality.
“People tend to have preconceived notions about what feminism is,” Liefferenge said.
At this event, group members plan to discuss how men can become involved in activism that is not exclusively feminist activism. Jimmy Howard, the interim assistant director of Residence life, is a co-advisor with Gibson for this group. Howard said during the event, members intend to explore the topic of female objectification and making a conscious effort to not view women as things.
Junior Brian Eirmann became involved in MAN after his past work with Haven.
“The goal of the first MAN event is to push for a change on our campus,” Eirmann said. “We plan to ask people who attend our event what they think feminism means, and then go from there.”
In the future MAN members would like to participate in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, Gibson said. The group welcomes all students and is hoping to expand over the next couple of months.
“We want people to know that in order to stop violence against women, we need both men and women fighting against it,” Gibson said. “We need them to come together to end this.”