An artificial evergreen tree in the lobby of the John J. Romano Administration Center at Penn State York is covered with purple paper hands thanks to the work of the campus’ Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) Club. The group is encouraging members of the campus community to grab a paper hand and make a pledge to increase awareness and stop acts of domestic violence. This is just one of many events that have been happening throughout the month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In addition to the tree project, the club has sponsored several speakers from Access York, a domestic violence shelter; and held a “self-empowerment” program featuring Skye Armstrong on Oct. 25. A second self-empowerment program is set for 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1, in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center (Ruhl Center) and it is free and open to the public.
Catherine Moon, instructor in human development and family studies at the campus and adviser for the HD FS Club, said her students were truly dedicated to all the projects. Many of the students in the club were inspired to plan programming to increase domestic violence awareness because of the loss of their former classmate and friend, Michelle Plaza, who was killed in a domestic violence incidence in 2009. Her husband was recently convicted of the crime.
The HDFS Club also brought the Clothesline Project to campus as part of their awareness efforts. The Clothesline Project is a display of T-shirts that represent the women and children who have been lost to or are survivors of domestic violence. Members of the campus community had an opportunity to create T-shirts and they are on display outside the Lion’s Den in the Ruhl Center through the end of the month.