For the past five weeks, the Students for Violence Prevention have been hosting a six-part series about building healthy relationships. This week, the topic discussed was how to set boundaries within family relationships.
Megan Woodfield, graduate student in psychology and director of the six-week series, says she felt this was one of the more important topics she wanted to discuss because of her own struggle with setting boundaries and navigating different dynamics within her family.
“I’m the baby of my family, so I’m never taken seriously,” Woodfield said. “But also, from talking with (students) over the past couple of weeks and with my friends, that was kind of the one area that they were like ‘I don’t think anyone’s ever taught me.’ Everybody’s kind of got their own background and their own dynamics, but this concept was one that I found people being at a loss for.”
Noah Larson, history junior and the Student Health Center Chair, attended the workshop and believes it is important to have an open and safe place to talk about these things on campus with others who might have had similar experiences.
“It’s good to have this conversation because everyone has either a toxic family or a toxic family member,” Larson said. “The more that we can have that conversation of what validation looks like on campus, the better. Even though college campuses have not adopted this mentality yet, I hope we can get to a future where students can not only transform educationally, but also as a person with their relationships as well.”
Larson also added that this series is a test run of his newest project for student health on campus: The Gorilla Support Network.
“Next year, I am going to be in charge of the Gorilla Support Network, which is going to be a program to bring more support groups (like this) on campus for students, faculty, and staff,” Larson said. “It will also serve as a way to alleviate stress off of our councilors on campus. This (series) is serving as our prototype group so we can do some data gathering so we can know how to run future support groups.”
The series is a way for SVP to provide education on issues on a deeper level.
“Students for Violence Prevention does a lot of prevention education awareness and so, with this, they wanted to dig a little deeper,” said Stephanie Spitz, the Campus Victim Advocate and advisor of SVP. “Megan Woodfield in specific, who is co-advisor of SVP, wanted to give people a place where they could learn more and educate and change conversations and relationships more at the roots of the problem instead of just raising awareness.”
Spitz also notes that, partially due to forced quarantine and the pandemic as a whole, domestic violence cases have risen in her office this past year.
“To address that and give people a safe place to go and to share and get resources was at the heart of this,” Spitz said. “(Woodfield) created and came up with different themes as part of a series each week and is going up with each certain topic.”
Students for Violence Prevention will host its final workshop on Monday, April 19 at 5 p.m. upstairs in the Sunflower Room of the Overman Student Center. The sixth installment in this series will cover work and school relationships, and how to find a balance as a working student with a social life.
“Whatever relationship you are struggling in we can help,” Spitz said. “(Students should) know you don’t have to do this alone.”
For more information, on SVP or these events, please visit pittstate.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/SVP or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.