By Cait Kemp
On Thursday, March 11 sophomore Tori Sipes hosted an informational meeting for a new potential club on campus, One Love Springfield.
The meeting was open to all undergrad and graduate students and allowed attendees to gain an understanding of what One Love is and how it could positively impact the Springfield community.
The meeting was led by Sipes and Erin Leeper, the Director of Non-Discrimination Initiatives/Title IX Administrator and 504 Coordinator, who helped to direct the conversations, as well as discuss being the potential advisor for the club.
As stated on their website, One Love works to “Educate young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, empowering them to identify and avoid abuse and learn how to love better.”
The organization was founded in 2010 after Yeardley Love, a college senior, was killed by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Her family started the foundation in order to teach more young people about the dangers of abusive relationships and to keep their daughter’s memory alive through making a positive impact.
One Love may sound familiar, as Springfield College and the Title IX office has used their programs with events through athletics. Now, Sipes hopes to broaden the knowledge that One Love has to offer and help others who may need it.
“When we did our Title IX meeting in partnership with One Love is when it kind of clicked that we don’t really have a heavy presence of One Love on campus, and I know it’s heavily shaped my life,” said Sipes.
It is not a club yet on campus, but Sipes is looking forward to getting things off the ground and organizing workshops, campus initiatives and other events that will cater towards specific groups on campus.
“ [One Love was] only focused on interpersonal, intimate person violence but now I think they are trying to make a more broad scope of relationships, and I think that it is a great time to be bringing that to this campus,” said Sipes.
She discussed introducing workshops that focus on different groups such as LGBTQ+, team atmospheres and other subgroups that will appeal to the students here at Springfield College.
A campaign that One Love launched recently is a texting campaign that sends participants messages of encouragement, tips on healthy thinking and other messages that aim to give knowledge about relationships and noticing the signs that could lead to abuse.
“I think small campaigns like this can be really helpful to keep healthy relationships and to prioritize your mental health at the forefront of your mind,” said Sipes. “For example, they sent out tips on breakups, handling cheating, building trust and self-care tips as well, so it covers a variety of topics to think about.”
An initiative that Sipes is bringing to Springfield is the Yards for Yeardley fundraiser. It is a virtual movement this year from April 1 to May 3 where participants can pledge yards that they will run, walk or exercise in some way in order to fundraise for the organization.
One Love seeks to teach young people valuable life skills that can help them greatly throughout life. It is something that all people, especially college students, should be aware of as they begin to navigate the world at a more independent level.
Sipes’ efforts to launch this organization at Springfield College will hopefully create the opportunity to inform more people about violence and offer them a way to help themselves, as well as others around them.
“When we say relationships, this is inclusive to not just intimate ones, but that of friends, family and teammates, so it is applicable to all fronts of our lives,” Sipes said. “So, ultimately 100 percent of us are in some kind of relationship, and 100 percent of us can learn to identify ways to love better.”
One Love provides knowledge that everyone can use. Relationship abuse is an ongoing problem in the country and around the world, and this organization is a step in preventing that.
Photo Courtesy of One Love