More than 300 HSU students crowded into the Kate Buchanan room to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Check It. For three hours, the Check It party raged on, filled with good food, karaoke fun and positive protecting vibes.
Check It’s head coordinator Mary Sue Savage took the stage early to congratulate the progress made by the organization in its five years of activity. As a HSU alumna herself, Savage has followed not only Check It’s progression, but HSU’s and the community’s as a whole.
“When I was a student, a very small percentage of folks were involved in violence prevention work, it was really just a solid group of social justice activists,” Savage said. “But we weren’t reaching the people we needed to reach or engaging them. But with Check It, I can see how possible it is to engage everyone on campus in violence prevention work.”
As co-founder to Check It, tonight’s celebration meant many things to Savage, as she stood in front of more than 300 supporters of the Check It movement.
“Tonight celebrates the incredible community support and compassion that makes up this movement,” Savage said. “It’s honoring the amazing consent centered activities students have been doing on campus and just celebrating how much progress has been made over the past five years!”
With two hours of karaoke, the room filled with performances from student and staff hand-picked classics. Shelby Gilfuss, a second year psychology major, was one among the 300 plus who attended the Check It’s party in support.
“I came to support my friend on the Check It team,” Gilfuss said. “I also enjoy the idea of a safe community and have met so many new people, people I would never have had a conversation with before.”
With free food, hilarious entertainment, and Check It merch, it wasn’t just the guests having a great time. Shelley Magallanesa, a third year psychology major and Check It team member shared her personal relationship to Check It.
“It’s the best,” Magallanesa said. “I spend all my time here and have a lot of fun. People are so devoted to growing the cause and working hard every day. We’ve had so much success and that makes me feel so good!”
Back in October, Check It gained the attention of the U.S. Justice Department, which resulted in a $300,000 grant. With new funding, the future of Check It looks bright and promising. Plans to expand and spread the movement, along with upgrade the organizational outreach, displays a promising future for violence prevention.
“This semester we are working with Arcata High School to launch Check It,” Savage said. “We’re also getting ready to launch our “Love Knows Boundaries” campaign later on this semester with specialized access cards. We really just want to continue to embed Check It within our campus culture.”
The first 5 years of Check It can be summarized into a success, with an established office space, tons of students activist volunteers, and a new grant allowing upgraded target outreach. The next 5 years show signs of a promising future to the prevention of violence and the Check It organization as a whole.