V-Day campaign educates students on socially conscious products, violence against women

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    As part of the TCU V-Day campaign to stop violence against women and girls, Wednesday’s Hope Fair educated students about social justice and fair trade through teaching the power of a dollar.

    Senior theater major Katie Caruso, coordinator of the V-Day campaign, said local vendors came to educate students about their products and to teach students to spend money in a socially and globally conscious way.

    Sharon Cansler, owner of Beloveds Mercantile, said every time a consumer purchases a product, they essentially make vote with that purchase. This vote could be in favor of unfair labor conditions, she said.

    She said her business aligned with the premise of the V-Day campaign because women make up a majority of the artisans that make her products. Buying products from these women would help support them and perhaps enable them to get out of violent situations, she said.

    Junior early childhood education major Lucy Greenlee said she believed fair trade was a real issue students should know about.

    “It’s good for TCU students to get a taste of what is going on outside the world,” Greenlee said. “I think it’s a very smart way to reach them by selling things.”

    Caruso said vendors could elect to donate a portion of their sales at the market to the V-Day campaign.

    The next event in the V-Day campaign will focus on educating students about violence against women.

    In a collaboration between TCU Police and theater department, the TCU Assault Prevention Theatre will present a play Thursday dealing with dating violence, Crime Prevention Officer Pam Christian said.

    Caruso said the play would be similar to the performance seen by incoming freshmen at orientation. However, this play would focus more on dating violence by casting the abuser as a significant other rather than just an acquaintance, Christian said.

    Christian said she believed the play would educate students by showing them situations that lead to abusive, controlling relationships.

    “[Students will] recognize the vulnerability,” she said. “They’ll recognize the bad situation and hopefully make better choices.”

    Christian said she believed presenting this issue of violence against women in the form of the play was beneficial in the realm of crime prevention. She said audiences had a tendency to tune out speakers, but a play had the verbal and visual elements that would help keep the audience engaged.

    “It’s been an awesome tool for me because I feel like the students pay attention to it so much more,” Christian said.

    After each performance, the performers will remain in character to facilitate a discussion session allowing the audience to ask questions, she said. Although the exact content of these discussions depends on the audience, she said the audience usually asked questions about why the characters made certain decisions during the play.

    The performances by the Assault Prevention Theatre will be in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium.

    Caruso said Thursday’s events also would include a balloon release to honor those lost to sexual violence.

    The week-long series of events will conclude with three weekend performances of “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler.

    Senior theatre major Ashten Burris, artistic director of the V-Day campaign, said the play catalogues a series of about 14 monologues. These monologues were inspired by actual interviews done by Ensler with women about their experiences of violence and abuse.

    Some monologues in the TCU version of the play stay the same from year to year, but she said each year brings a new cast with a fresh take and interpretation of the monologues.

    Performances by TCU Assault Prevention Theatre

    When: Performances at noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday

    5 p.m. balloon release in the Campus Commons to honor those lost to sexual violence

    Where: Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium

    “The Vagina Monologues”

    When: 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday

    Where: BLUU Auditorium

    Tickets may be reserved by e-mail at tcuvdaycampaign@gmail.com or purchased at the door.