Caitlin Dorsch ~ Copy Desk Chief
At 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 in the Turner Gymnasium on Wayne Proffitt Court, the fourth annual One Love Escalation Workshop took place.
This event, which focuses on helping students understand the signs of domestic and interpersonal relationship violence, began in August 2016 and was originally held for only varsity athletes.
Over the past few years, however, this event has gotten so big as to be opened to all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Lynchburg.
Outdoor Leadership Program staff member Nat Hanno, one of the facilitators for the event said, “This was my third One Love event that I have attended on-campus, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to act as a facilitator for the event this year. I think the event is an extremely powerful one that provides an impactful experience that all students should be a part of.”
The athletic department of the University of Lynchburg, headed by Athletic Director, Jonathan Waters, has invested into this program on a yearly basis in order to help the University’s personnel and students realize the signs and effects of relationship violence immediately at the start of the school year.
The athletic department’s partnership with the One Love Organization denotes one of the biggest events that is held on-campus throughout the school year.
Upon entering the gymnasium, event-goers were given a sheet of paper with health and counseling information and a number denoting what facilitation group they are to go in following the One Love film.
After introductions, the One Love film was played that demonstrates some examples of extreme domestic and interpersonal relationship violence. Then, facilitators took their groups outside of the gymnasium to have a critical discussion of the film in small groups.
Because of the topic, there was one Domestic Violence Advocate and member of the Counseling Center in the audience throughout the entirety of the event.
This year, there were over sixty facilitators who took part in leading small groups following the film. This is the most facilitators who have ever been a part of the event at the University of Lynchburg.
Most of the facilitators were varsity and club athletes; however, school club members and even faculty members participated in the event at facilitators.
Club Field Hockey player, Sasha Terry insisted, “One Love was a reminder of why I should make sure that I’m aware of what’s going on not only with my personal relationships, but also with those around me.
It is very important because we can often forget about the different forms of abuse and how prevalent this issue is to our day-to-day relationships.”