By Olivia White Contributing Writer
Purington Hall has stepped up its game since last year in its quest for a strong supportive community. Samantha Kane, current sophomore and resident, said, “Purington really embraces the idea of community that UMF tries to build in its residence halls.”
Kayla Falco, Residence Hall Director for both Mallett and Purington, said that there are many “residents that plan impromptu gatherings in the hall, from potlucks, to big games of Werewolf, to Super Bowl parties.” Abbi Libby, returning resident and sophomore, agreed with Falco, saying that “people are more involved and actually show up to programs.”
Falco also said that there are “different residents this year from last year, with different interests. Because of this, each CA will have different approaches to community building, which is true of all CAs. What worked last year might not work this year, and vice versa.”
Kane has lived in two other residence halls during her time at UMF, “and even though all CAs attempted to build a community, it is very different in Purington,” she said. “There are always people in the lounge doing homework or watching TV or playing a game and everyone is always very welcoming if you want to join. Everyone knows everyone and even though that makes it hard, living so close is nice because you always have someone to turn to.”
Jasmine Corkins, the current treasurer for Purington’s Campus Residence Council, said that “Purington’s community [is] really wholesome and good natured. Everyone gets along and can just talk without having to force it. I love being able to say hi to anyone, with or without knowing them super well. It’s a real sense of family in the hall.”
Falco praised a series of events that took place in the fall semester called “Back to School,” crediting its popularity with improved community life. Purington CAs held a themed program every day for a week at the beginning of the fall semester. They each ran a program a day, and did a program together on the 5th day. During this week-long event, CAs and residents traveled back in time throughout the week, participating in events relating to high school moving all the way back to preschool.
The CAs in Purington Hall have expressed their commitment to creating a supportive community in many ways. Kane believes that out of all of the events held in Purington Hall, the residents were brought together most by the “Diversity Glitter Jars,” a program put on by CA Josh Beckett, UMF psychology major.
By Olivia White Contributing Writer
UMF is showing its support for the #metoo movement by hosting “The Vagina Monologues,” a play by Eve Ensler based off of interviews from over 200 women speaking out about about sexual assault and abuse experiences in February.
People everywhere are voicing their views on sexual harassment and sexual assault through #metoo, a social media hashtag that opens a space for people to share their stories on being sexually harassed and/or assaulted.
Alyssa Leonard, a freshman at UMF, said she “can’t really relate to #metoo personally, but just knowing so many people that do makes me genuinely sick. No one should ever have to go through something like that.”
Other student’s views echo Leonard’s position, arguing that sexual assault is a horrible thing, or they avoided answering the saying they felt uncomfortable talking about the subject.
The students of UMF have expressed their views on campus awareness and precautions. Sophomore and Clefnote member, Vanessa Brown said that, “as cliché as it sounds, campus awareness is unity. Whether its physical, verbal, mental, emotional….unity is the strength in which all hopes and fears are destroyed.”
Brown also said the campus should be encouraging the students, “to create safe spaces, to incite discussions, to allow all stories be an important one.”
Some students on campus are not used to sexuality being so public and outspoken and it makes many uncomfortable. Others feel as though they cannot express their thoughts for fear they may have the “wrong” opinion in the minds of their peers.
When asked how she thought sexual assault could be prevented on campus, Leonard said “a good idea would be to have conversations. I know there’s something on campus happening called ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ where they are talking about sexual harassment.”
The cast for this year’s production are students from UMF, who will be under the direction of Gavin Pickering, a counselor here at UMF. The characters delivering monologues talk frankly about sexuality as a whole and women’s perceptions of their bodies. “The Vagina Monologues” will be held at the Emery Arts Center at 6 p.m. on February 23rd.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services (SAPARS) along with Safe Voices are organizations that helps those who have experienced a form of sexual assault. If you need help please contact one of these organizations; SAPARS: 207-778-9522 or 1-800-871-7741, Safe Voices: 207-778-6107 or 1-800-559-2927, and/or Non-Crisis Peer to Peer Support: 1-866-771-9276.