Two moods filled the forum on Monday night: excitement and solemnity. Students were busy perfecting swirls for their tie-dye designs, while the message behind it weighed heavily on many. The Women and Gender Studies Student Association ran their first major event of the year on Monday, October 17 from 8-10pm: “Ice Tie-Dye a Pillowcase for Domestic Violence.”
Crisp colorful leaves and the fragrance of pumpkin spice are not the only things for which October is known.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
After being elected the new president of this association, Shaina Louis was inspired to create a program that was fun, yet carried a powerful message that Nazareth students could take with them. Between running around the forum organizing table set-ups, filling dye droppers, and making sure her first event as president went smoothly, Shaina found time to sit down with me and discuss the importance of our colorful art projects.
Q: Why are we here tie-dying tonight?
A: “We are tie-dying for a special cause. We’re actually not tie-dying—we’re having a twist on tie-dying. It’s actually called ice tie-dying…for domestic violence awareness. We’re using pillowcases for our twist.”
Q: What inspired you to do this event?
A: “Karen Vicks (Title IX Coordinator) came to my Women & Gender Studies class and she showed us a movie about domestic violence. I recently started the Women & Gender Studies Student Association and I thought what a great way for us to connect what we’re learning in class to a good cause that affects a lot of women.”
Q: What do you hope people take away from the event?
A: “I want students to feel more comfortable talking about domestic violence and dating violence.”
“You’ll find out what are the signs to look out for, how to help a friend, and just be in a space where you feel comfortable talking about issues like that because it is very important and it affects a lot of us.”
Not only fun memories and stained jeans were taken away from this activity– but a powerful message about the warning signs, severity and prevalence of dating violence in our society.
Click here to learn how to ice tie-dye your own pillowcase!
To learn more about domestic violence or receive help for yourself or someone you know, please visit: www.thehotline.org or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.