Pictured above: STAND meets every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Morton Boston Room in the Student Union.
Shelby Ray, Contributor
On March 18, Lewis University’s STAND presented the “Abduction Experience.” It was held in the Sancta Alberta Chapel and co-sponsored by Theta Kappa Pi sorority, Freshman Class Council, International Student Association and The Pulse.
“The Abduction Experience was a tunnel-of-oppression-like event, which focused on human trafficking,” said Ariel Zarate, director of STAND. “It was educational and immersive in order to allow participants to visualize the reality of human trafficking more in depth than a lecture.”
The event was displayed to attendees via a series of five rooms, where attendees were exposed to a story of abduction and sex trafficking. During the experience, there was a tour guide with the group, explaining facts and stories behind each room.
Human trafficking is a pressing issue in the United States and internationally.
“There are about 27 million people in the world today who are forced to work as slaves,” Zarate said. “I think in the United States especially there is a belief that this is an issue of the past or an issue that is foreign only. By making people aware of its existence, hopefully more action against it will occur.”
The rooms were set up with scenes from spring break partying turning into sex trafficking to a women being beaten.
“The most shocking part was the prostitution room,” said Katie Colaianni, a sophomore computer information systems major. “There were students dressed as prostitutes lying on stripped mattresses with cuts and bruises all over their bodies. It was all very surreal.”
This event was meant to create more publicity and awareness of STAND on campus, according to Zarate.