Approximately 105 people, consisting of students and staff, made up the biggest turnout for the annual Tulip Planting Ceremony on Tuesday, October 8th outside the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library. The Tulip Planting Ceremony was in support for the victims of domestic violence.
In honor of Domestic Awareness Month, the Women’s Center organized the Tulip Planting Ceremony. Throughout the week, the center setup tables around campus allowing anyone to write a message for or about domestic violence on a cutout tulip. At the ceremony, volunteers read aloud some of the messages while actual tulips were planted. Some of the remaining cutout tulips were made into a banner which with the other individual tulips will be hung in the Women’s Center and around campus.
To kick off the event Dawn Butts, event organizer and intern at the Women’s Center, introduced guest speakers including Kay Martin from Women in Need, Dr. Melissa Ricketts the chair of the criminal justice department, Melissa Davis from Domestic Violence Services as well as author Donna Anderson.
Throughout the short speeches, awareness and support were discussed. The topics included the facts about domestic violence, how to get help and even a poem representing the effects of domestic violence. Butts said, “Everyone should be aware. There is no shame in getting help. It is not just a woman thing, it is a male thing too.”
Men and women were included in the statistic of how many deaths occurred from domestic violence over an approximate amount of months. These men and women as well as all the others who have lost their lives due to domestic violence were honored with a moment of silence near the conclusion of the ceremony.
Though the ceremony presented upsetting information, the tulips were planted and the cutout tulips were made in honor of victims and to uplift those affected. As mentioned the ceremony had 105 attendees, its biggest turnout in quite some time which uplifted the spirits of those involved with the Women’s Center.
Those who helped organize the event and members of React were pleased with the turnout. Junior Deb Mathes said, “We as the Women’s Center are thankful for everyone who came out and made the event wonderful.” The audience included a diverse crowd made up of students, staff and even members representing their own club that wanted to stand up against domestic violence.
“It is a much bigger turnout than before. It is amazing to see all the clubs and people come together as a community,” said Senior, Jymmy Comrey. The amount of people who attended was not the only biggest amount for the event. The number of cutout tulips made was also the largest amount seen for the Tulip Planting Ceremony, which showed that the awareness is growing.
Though the event has concluded, Domestic Violence Awareness Month still continues. If interested, visit the Women’s Center in Horton Hall to learn more information about domestic violence.