Photo and story by Tina Higgins / Contributing Writer
The June Anderson Center hosted an event, titled First Date: Soulmate or Nah, at the MTSU Student Union on Tuesday, which taught students what a healthy relationship should look and feel like.
The intimate event started with a film called “Escalation,” produced by the One Love Association. The video depicted an unhealthy relationship beginning to end, and the conclusion of the film was followed by a discussion.
In the film, the audience followed Paige, a white, college-aged woman who catches the eye of Chase. They start a relationship that starts smoothly but later takes a more serious turn. Chase begins to always want to know where Paige is and then starts to show signs of violence. No member of either friend group intervenes, and at the end of the film, Chase murders Paige.
The heavy film hits home with the MTSU community because in 2011, MTSU student Tina Stewart was fatally stabbed after a domestic violence incident with her roommate at Raiders Crossing Apartments.
Kelly Hill, the Power of One Prevention grant coordinator at the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, said that a grant was made in Tina Stewart’s honor.
“The Tina Stewart Fund was created in part of support from the victim’s family to create a fund for nonviolence on MTSU’s campus because of that relationship violence that happened on campus,” Hill said.
The film was provided by the One Love organization that is unaffiliated with MTSU. This organization was founded when Yeardley Love was killed by her ex-boyfriend. They now offer seminars, which allows faculty at universities or other organizations to teach members of the community about relationship violence.
The discussion after the film started by talking about Tina Stewart and developed into ways that a bystander could stop the transgression of relationship violence. Hill gave tips to students, which were called the “Four D’s of Violence Prevention:” direct, distracting, delegating and delay.
Direct can be done by directly intervening and addressing the problem once it arises. Distracting can be done by asking a question. Delegating can be done by a third party by either telling a friend of the couple to find out what is going on, or a safer approach is to alert law enforcement. Delay is normally done in a crisis moment when the onlooker doesn’t intervene on the spot, but they alert the needed party when the time arises.
The June Anderson Center provides a climate survey, focusing on the prevention of violence on campus. This survey comes out every two years, and it measures how safe students feel on campus.
The center also provides information that one can use either for themselves or for a friend. This information can be found by visiting MTSU’s sexual violence webpage.
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