The University of Memphis Title IX office hosted the Healthy Relationships Fair on April 16 at the student plaza to inform students about healthy relationships and how to be safe in those relationships.
Abby Kindervater, who works on campus as a Title IX prevention specialist, said this is the most important event they host all year.
“This is the largest event we have all year,” Kindervater said. “This event is really important because we have our community and campus partners here and the goal of the event is to teach participants how to build skills around healthy relationships.”
Kindervater said communication is key to a healthy relationships and this event educates students.
“I think we all have a general sense that we should have boundaries in our relationships,” Kindervater said. “We should talk to our partner and have an open line of healthy communication. Hopefully, what these partners are doing is actually teaching skill-building and using activities to help engage students in the conversation.
Kindervater said she believes educating students about social norms can lead to a safer campus.
“This is part of the broader scheme of sexual assault awareness month,” Kindervater said. “We think that having a baseline of social norms that are about healthy relationships contribute to a safer community here on campus.”
The fair included several different community and campus partners. For instance, Jessie Claudio, who works at OUTMemphis, said they offer numerous resources for students and members of the community.
“OUTMemphis is an LGBT community center, and we offer an array of services,” Claudio said. “We work with youth ages 13-25, and we work with seniors as well. We also offer free sexual health services, which includes free and confidential HIV tests, free condoms, free lubrication and free Plan B.
Claudio said OUTMemphis’ goal is to give the community resources to keep and maintain healthy relationships with partners.
“The whole thing is really to empower and educate the community so they can have control and autonomy over their sex lives and sexual health,” Claudio said. “We also have social groups so you can come and find family in the community, as well as a safe space.”
Abigail Powers, a member of the UofM’s Sexual Assault and Prevention Awareness Council, said SAPAC sends students into ACAD classes to educate incoming freshmen about sexual assault.
“We are a group of students who do different events throughout the year that mainly focus on sexual assault prevention,” Powers said. “We also have a peer education program, so students will be trained and certified to be a peer educator for sexual assault. Those peer educators will go around to the different freshman ACAD classes throughout the semester.”
Powers said several executive board member openings within SAPAC are available to any students interested.
“All of our exec board members are graduating, so all of our exec board positions are available on Tiger Zone,” Powers said. “We are also in need of new peer educators for this fall.”
Britney Bryson, a member of the student health and counseling department, said they are educating students about healthy relationships.
“We are promoting healthy relationships based on knowing what a healthy and unhealthy relationship is,” Bryson said. “So out here we have our bill of rights where you know what your rights are in every relationship. The basis of this is so students, faculty and staff know how to take care of themselves and their partners in every relationship.”