Information from University of Washington website
BY ASHLEY FLAWS
On Nov. 17, Violence Intervention Partner (VIP) hosted the “Help! I’m Bad at Dating” event in Harvey Ingham 135. Students came together over pizza to watch clips from popular TV shows, such as “The Simpsons” and “Switched at Birth,” to help facilitate discussion about healthy relationships and warning signs of unhealthy relationships.
Lindsay Carlson, a member of the VIP events committee, said that she hoped this event would help bring a new level of understanding to Drake University’s campus about what healthy relationships look like.
“I think being young and thinking about what relationships look like, there’s not a lot of education out there necessarily that you would get naturally, so I think putting on events like this and coming to events where we’re talking about very realistic situations of things students might be running into either now or in the future is important,” Carlson said.
At this event, students discussed topics such as healthy arguments in relationships, communicating effectively in relationships, consent, how to end a bad relationship, how to help a friend who is in a bad relationship and what a healthy relationship should look like.
“A healthy relationship is all about two people working together,” said Miranda Peterson, a member of the VIP events committee who helped plan this event. “It’s not just one person making decisions … The main thing is it’s not just one person taking over, it’s a combination of both people working together to create a partnership.”
Along with facilitating conversation on these topics, Peterson hoped that this event would generate awareness about how students can use VIP as a resource.
VIP is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week confidential resource operated by Drake University students who have been trained to respond to instances of sexual assault or violence offered to students who need to discuss anything from unhealthy relationships they or a friend may be involved in to sexual assault. Carlson said VIP hosts events throughout the year to help educate students and create a supportive space for them to talk about issues related to sexual assault or unhealthy relationships.
Luke Miller, a sophomore psychology and neuroscience major, said that he came to this event hoping to get tips on how to have a successful relationship. He thinks events like these on Drake’s campus are important ways for students to get information that they might not get otherwise.
“A lot of information usually comes from your friends, and there’s not really a lot of resources other than that, so to host an event like this at college I think is important because it’s just a bunch of people all learning how to do life at the same time,” Miller said. “It’s great to have some outside sources.”
Miller said that his biggest takeaway from the event is the importance of consent in sexual relationships, which Carlson agrees is something all students need to be more educated on.
“If you think something’s wrong … it’s really good to take a minute and think about it, seek help, advice and trust your gut when it comes to unhealthy relationships,” Carlson said. “When it comes to consent, one situation does not fit all. One solution does not fit all.”
To utilize VIP’s confidential resources, visit their Facebook page to learn more about who their members are or call or text their hotline at 515-512-2972.