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The Team Takes a Stand

April 03, 2017

Lasell Men's Lacrosse Team

Be a leader on and off the field.  That's the message Lasell Men's Lacrosse Coach Bill Mason has for his team.  Indeed, after taking Professor Karin Raye's Sexual Violence class (CJ335), last year's captains went on to form a partnership between Mason and Raye, leading their team to stand up against sexual and domestic violence.  This year's captain wanted to take the team a step further and create a film - which will air during Lasell Connected Learning Symposium -  that will speak directly towards men's engagement towards gender-based violence.

Recently, the men's lacrosse team ran a White Ribbon Campaign, asking men or male-identifying community members to take a pledge and stand up against sexual and domestic violence. "It is necessary for men to stand up" says Mason, "because this conversation does not work its way into male circles very much."  Indeed, according to Matthew Swoveland, Acting Executive Director at The Second Step and Director of Youth and Prevention Programs, and one of Raye's colleagues, "When we look at violence across the fact stands out above all others, and that is that the majority of violence is perpetrated by men.  And men's violence - whether against women and girls, against self, or against other men - has a cause deeply rooted in traditional ideas of what it means to be a man.  By cultivating a kinder and more just idea of what it means to be a man, we can put an end to this violence, and change the futures that were written for us."  This is what drew the men's lacrosse team to form their partnership with Raye and to start their campaign: to redefine the traditional ideas of being a man. "Domestic and sexual violence touches everyone - all genders, ages, sexual orientations, races, classes," says Raye, "If we do not have all genders at the table, we will never change the landscape around sexual and domestic violence."  

The team presented the finale of their campaign at their game on March 26, 2017, where they hung a banner full of Lasell community member's signature pledging to stand up against sexual and domestic violence, sporting white ribbon decals on their helmets, and asking the spectators to join them in a pledge of standing up.  As Mason says, "You need to have great leadership if you are going to take on anything."