Stand Up For Your Sister is a seminar that raises awareness of common issues that women face and allows women on campus to become vulnerable about their struggles. Monday night, approximately 160 females, students and faculty members alike, gathered in the Carl Grant Events Center for the inaugural event.
Kayla McKinney and Erin Slater, both residence directors, opened the ceremony by sharing testimonies of their own.
“By sharing with you, we just want you to know that you are not alone in your struggles,” Slater said. “Through this event, we hope to spark positive conversation. We hope you pray for your sisters before you start judging them. We hope to promote and reinforce unity on this campus. This event was created to kill comparison among us and to increase passion and love.”
McKinney explained that she believes a temptation lives within each woman to put on a mask and act like everything is perfect, which is not the case. She stressed the importance of having a relationship with Christ as well as a relationship with a close friend who also loves the Lord and can provide guidance during tough times. This event helped provide not only encouraging words but a real, visual display of comfort.
After hearing the testimonies, women filled out a questionnaire that consisted of several “yes” or “no” questions pertaining to women’s struggles, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse and sexual assault, among others. After the surveys were completed and turned in anonymously, they were distributed randomly among the women. Residence life staff read each question aloud, and women who held a survey with a “yes” to that specific question would stand up to display a visual representation of the statistics in the room. This display acted as a powerful demonstration showing that women are not alone in their struggles.
“Being able to see the girls standing and participating is very impactful,” McKinney said. “It is so powerful to see the numbers, to see people stand for what you said ‘yes’ to so you can see that other girls are with you in that struggle. Union desires for us to live Christ-centered lives and build community, and this event helps meet those goals.”
Mary Lawson Day, one of six counselors on campus, encouraged the women to view struggle as an opportunity to be prayerful and carry their burdens to Christ.
Day encouraged students to consider using the counseling services if they feel like a struggle is hindering them from enjoying their daily lives.
Click here for more information about counseling services.