Students for Violence Prevention (SVP) celebrated Valentine’s Day by starting a discussion about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Tuesday Feb. 12, from 7-9 p.m. SVP hosted its “Be Mine Bash” in the Overman Student Center.
“There’s just so many behaviors that we’ve normalized that really are not okay…” said Talia Ayala-Feliciangeli, senior in psychology. “There’s just so many things that are not okay with how we see relationships in this day and age and… We really need to have more conversations about that.”
SVP partnered with Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society, to act out various relationship scenarios, in a choose-your-own-adventure theme.
“So, basically we wanted to do something since it’s right before Valentine’s day and we always want to have some sort of event talking about different types of healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships, and we decided to have this specifically because we all watched the movie Bandersnatch and we really liked that whole like choose your own experience kind of deal, but really we wanted the audience to pick scenarios that many times they were both negative and we wanted to see what happened and we wanted the audience to see a lot of these that have been so normalized by our societies,” Ayala-Feliciangeli said.
Attendees logged onto the “Kahoot” app where they were given two options of which way they wanted each scenario to go, with one scenario being healthy and one being unhealthy, or even picking between two unhealthy scenarios.
“We decided actually to have most of the options be negative options, so we could portray an actually negative relationship and then explain why it was negative and (what was) the positive alternative to that,” Ayala Feliciangeli said.
Scenarios included abuse, psychology and discussion of physical abuse, trust issues and controlling significant others, coercion of sexual relations, and many more. They showed not only relationships with significant others but also relationships between friends as well.
“It can be hard to talk about abusive relationships but the way that they did it was a fun way… but it got serious whenever it needed to get serious and we talked about some really hard topics,” said Catherine Lumley, freshman in history education.
After each scenario SVP members Ayala-Feliciangeli and Cooper Dammrich broke down the scenario and discussed why it was healthy or unhealthy and how it could have been handled differently.
“… It’s an incredibly important event and it’s an art to help teach this sort of thing…” said Garrett Wainscott, senior in graphic communications. “… It’s very important… the chance to improv, that alone was fun to do and to teach a lesson while doing it.”
Hand-outs were provided to those in attendance with information on healthy and unhealthy characteristics in relationships and each attendee was entered in a raffle. The raffle gave away Valentine’s presents to two attendees.
“I didn’t know what to expect honestly…” Lumley said. “I heard there were cupcakes… and then I figured we’d kind of talk about abusive relationships and… especially with Valentine’s Day… It was more than what I expected.”
The event was catered by Sodexo who provided punch and cupcakes decorated like roses.
“I am so passionate about SVP and I think the work we do is so important and I’m very happy to have reached the people we did today and I think this is something we are going to continue to do, continue reaching out to PSU students and just try to teach our peers what constitutes as a healthy, unhealthy, or abusive relationship,” Ayala-Feliciangeli said.