On Tuesday night, Residence Life held their annual “Stand Up For Your Sister” event at the Carl Grant Center. The event was led by Kayla McKinney, the quads resident director, Erin Slater, Heritage resident director, as well as numerous resident advisors on campus.
Upon entrance, attendants were given pencils and a sheet of paper with a list of yes-or-no questions. The questions pertained to the struggles women face day-to-day: body image issues, sexual assault, physical assault, depression, self-harm and more.
Before the attendants filled out their sheets, Slater, McKinney and others shared their personal stories. This not only helped the girls who attended relate to the resident director’s struggles, but also gave the resident directors a platform where they could share their stories without fear of judgement or harsh criticism.
“The testimonies given were so strong and powerful,” said Sam Ortiz, sophomore elementary education major and the resident advisor for Craig dormitory. “I really enjoyed Jen’s testimony, it was amazing to see how strong her faith is in the Lord, even though she struggled with unfulfilled hopes and dreams.”
At the event, the phrase “Stand Up for Your Sister,” was taken literally. Once the sheets were filled out and handed in, they were randomly redistributed among the attendants.
As the questions were read aloud, attendants were asked to stand when a “yes” was circled, and sit when a “no” was circled. This simple act served as a physical representation of the number of girls who face each struggle, giving the attendants a sense of unity.
“I think it’s amazing that Reslife gives us an opportunity to see that no matter what our daily struggles are, none of us face them alone,” Katie Naylor, sophomore psychology major, said,
Before the attendants were dismissed, Mary Lawson Day, a counselor on campus, urged the girls to either talk to a friend, family member or school counselor, about any of the items discussed that applied to them personally. The hope is that through the discussion of uncomfortable topics, like rape, sexual assault and abuse, the women on campus can feel support and comfort.