Tulip planted for new life

Ali Laughman tulip Planting ceremony
Students stand in remembrance of victims of domestic violence during the annual Tulip Planting Ceremony.

Shippensburg University community members met around the Janie Fecker Garden outside Lackhove Hall  on Tuesday for SU’s annual Tulip Planting Ceremony to remember those who have been victims of domestic violence. 

Kind words of encouragement resonated from the speakers as individuals took the microphone to speak out against violence. 

“All people have ultimate worth and value,” said the Rev. Jan Bye, SU campus minister, before the start of the ceremony. Guest speakers were  then introduced, such as Kyra Paules from the Domestic Violence Service of Cumberland and Perry Counties  and Nicky Rakintzis who interns there. Elainna Keim from Women In Need and Bye spoke on matters such as believing the victim and not being a bystander.

As the ceremony progressed and the tulips were planted ideas of banishing victim blaming and taking the stigma away from those who are too afraid to seek help filled the air. The entire ceremony provided a safe space for people to gain knowledge on how to find help if they or someone they know are, or were, victims of violence.

“I think that we need to bring awareness to sexual violence,” SU sophomore Daya Day said. In regard to dialogue being brought to campus, events like this shed light on topics that may seem taboo to some. 

“[People] don’t want to seem like problem starters,” Day said. 

Bye brought the crowd together for a moment of silence. It allowed everyone to take solace in each other in not only the bouts of domestic violence that occur in communities everywhere, but also the acts of violence that occurred the night before in Las Vegas. 

As the ceremony ended, the men in attendance lined up at the starting line as Tom Fizzano began the progression of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to benefit victims of violence. 

If you or anyone you know have been victims of domestic violence, relationship violence or need to talk to someone about any of the previsously events, SU’s University Counseling Center and the Women’s Center can be reached at (717) 477-1481 and (717) 477-1790 respectively.

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