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Megan Woodfield, programming assistant, and Stephanie Spitz, campus victim advocate, share a laugh at their stand during the Healthy Relationship Fair at the Meadowbrook Mall Saturday, Sept. 7. Campus Victim Advocates help students seek support for violence survivors. Lesly Bocanegra

Meadowbrook Mall hosts first healthy relationship fair

Everyone has relationships, whether that be friendships, familial relationships, or work relationships. Knowing how to have a healthy relationship and how to keep it healthy is a major contributor in keeping those relationships.  

On Sept. 7, different organizations from all over Pittsburg set up booths in the Meadowbrook Mall to promote healthy relationships at all levels at the Healthy Relationship Fair. This is the first time the event has been held.  

 “We thought it would be good to invite organizations and agencies throughout the area to come and talk about different aspects of healthy relationships whether that be romantic relationships or friendships or mentorships, or parent-child relationships,” said Ali Smith, Prevention Education Specialist at Safehouse Crisis Center.  

Smith and her colleagues came up with the idea at the beginning of the year through the Safehouse Crisis Center and PSU Campus Victim Advocate Stephanie Spitz. 

“We want to be promoting healthy relationships and nonviolent communication, so that’s where the idea came from,” Smith said. “We have 16 different organizations here, talking about different aspects of healthy relationships.”  

 The booths set up included Students for Violence Prevention, The Safehouse Crisis Center, Crawford County Health Department, and many more. They gave out free items and information regarding how to have healthy romantic, platonic, familial, and work relationships. 

“I think that there’s something here for everyone,” Smith said. “Even if someone doesn’t have a romantic partner, everybody has friends, everyone has something to do with this fair, whether they have children, or they want to be a mentor to a child, or they want to support their friends or someone in their life.” 

The Pitt State student organization, Students for Violence Prevention, set up a table to spread information about how to have a healthy relationship with a roommate.   

“We usually focus on campus, but this is a really good way to reach out to the community and show that we’re not just a student organization, but we can transcend that and help really anyone in our community,” said Julia Turner, junior nursing major.  

The communications department also had their own booth, which was being led by Kristen Livingston, communications instructor at PSU, about communicating with people from diverse backgrounds.  

 “My booth is about diversity in communication, and that’s what is represented at this fair,” Livingston said.  “We have different levels of communication and hopefully people will take different aspects and apply them to their own lives.” 

 The event’s purpose was to give students and community members support and information that they might not get otherwise. 

“I think we need to continue the education out in the general public, and I think sometimes we neglect to think that way, and so, that’s what really encouraged me to prepare this booth and the information that I’m providing,” Livingston said.  

The Safe House Crisis Center and the PSU Campus Victim Advocate hope for this to be reoccurring event in the future.  

 “I think this is excellent (and) I hope this happens again next year,” Livingston said. “I know this is the inaugural event, but I think having different aspects from different areas of communication influencing healthy relationships is really great.”  

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