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Bentley University

Women’s Center Newsletter MARCH



APRIL 2011

Take Back the Night By Grace Karon

Upcoming Dates:

A woman walks alone down a dark, deserted street. With every shadow she sees, and every sound she hears, her pounding heart flutters and skips a beat. She hurries her pace as she sees her destination become closer. She is almost there. She reaches the front door, goes inside, collects herself, and moves on forgetting, at least for tonight, the gripping fear that momentarily enveloped her life.

Hakuna Matata: April 28th

This scene could have occurred anywhere last night, last year, or even 100 years ago. ( Women constantly face the anxiety of walking alone at night, and that is the origin of Take Back the Night. TBTN was held this year on April 5th, co-sponsored by Alpha Phi. Members of the Bentley Community met in the Women’s Center to share stor ies and dedicate a moment to loved ones who have suffered at the hand of domestic abuse, experienced the fear of being attacked, or ever felt alone.

Last General Meeting: May 2nd After being escorted by University Police on a silent, illuminated walk from LaCava to the Fenway Skybox, the participants enjoyed refreshments and entertainment on Lower Campus. Bentley student Desiree Daniels read her own poetry and was a wonderful example of the blossoming creativity taking place at Bentley. For the eighth year, we welcomed two-time Cambridge Poetry Award winner of Female Slam Poet of the Year, Lani Radack. She shared her own sobering experiences with domestic violence, and read us some of her award winning poems. Some were humorous and some of were dramatic, but all of which were striking for everyone in attendance.

General Meetings: Mondays 2:10pm3:25pm

Inside this issue: New Books!


Waltham Fields


Preview: Hakuna Matata 3

Saluting our Seniors!


Calling All Alumni!


The White Ribbon The Women’s Center is very Campaign grateful to everyone who partici- Consent Day 2011 pated to make TBTN a success. It is important that we think about Farewell Dr. Yorkis these victims not only once a year, but every day. Relationship Quiz Stop by the Women’s Center to learn how you can do more, such Announcements/ as being crisis trained to hold Contact Information office hours with us in the fall.

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Our New Books By Kathryn Burgner 3. The Dorm Room Diet by Daphne Oz

Please send all book suggestions or donation inquires to Kathryn Burgner:

5. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the American Woman by Sam Wasson

1. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik 2. Words that Matter by Oprah Winfrey

4. The Splendor of Silence by Indu Sundaresan

We will be adding over 100 new books to the center in Fall 2011, so suggestions are welcome!

Waltham Fields

By Katrina DeFrancesco

This April, The Women’s Center strayed from our typical community service projects and decided to get down and dirty. By planting, of course! Waltham Fields Community Farm is a non-profit organization that supports farmland preservation, hunger relief, and education about where exactly our food comes from. Our ten volunteers planted over 6000 beets in our three hours on the farm!

The food will grow throughout the next few months and will be donated to emergency food programs in the area or sold to local schools in the fall. For more information about the farm, visit:

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Preview: Hakuna Matata By Grace Karon

Stressed out about finals? Group projects getting you down? Join the Women’s Center on Thursday, May 28th at 8:30pm for our annual spring relaxation event, “Hakuna Matata” in the Blue Line (formerly the Backstage). We will have an escapist paradise set up with a yoga class, therapeutic arts and crafts, and lots of healthy snacks and treats! Take a breather, take a break, & take a moment for yourself. Join us- It means no worries! *Please bring your own mat or towel for participation in yoga!

Saluting Our Seniors! By Courtney Smigiel One of the golden periods in the lives of students are the graduation years. To make these memories even more special, for our four graduating seniors, Gillian Cowin, Meredith Davis, Edith Kwok, and Malorie Morrison, we are honoring them in a potluck get-together at our last general meeting of the semester. During this time, we have invited for these four women to paint and leave their handprints, names, and graduation years on one of the walls in our Center. These handprints will replace the glass-blockpainting tradition that used to occur with each graduating senior class. Although the glass blocks are still displayed on shelving units throughout the Center, we are trying something different in our new space.

Edith Kwok (Vice President of PR/Media ’08, Secretary ’09, President ‘10) Meredith Davis (Vice President of RRR ‘08, VP of Prgramming ‘09, Co-Chair ‘10) Malorie Morrison (Vagina Monologues Participant) Gillian Cowin (Vagina Monologues Director ‘11) *All seniors also held office hours Although we are very upset to lose such a wonderful group of women, we are excited for them to begin new chapters in their lives. We wish you the best of luck, ladies. We appreciate the contributions you have made to the Women’s Center over the years and hope to keep in touch.


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Calling All Alumni... We are currently updating our alumni database! If you have any names and email addresses for alumni, then we would love to add them to our mailing list! Despite how recently or long ago you were part of the women’s center, we would love to keep you and your fellow alumni updated on the events, membership, and other details of the center!

All names and email addresses can be sent to: (VP of Resource, Referral, & Recruitment) We very much appreciate the help with looking into the history of the Center’s past! Thank you!

The White Ribbon Campaign By Lisa Landry This semester, members of the Women’s Center joined the creation of an oncampus initiative to raise awareness, decrease occurrences, and improve the response and support on campus for relationship violence issues. NERV (Now End Relationship Violence) consists of several members of the Bentley community, including faculty, staff & students. Throughout the month of April, NERV, supported by The Women’s Center, CSD, and the MCC, launched The First Annual Bentley White Ribbon Campaign. The White Ribbon Campaign is a concept that began in Canada during October, the month for raising awareness of domestic violence. As a part of this campaign, men take a pledge not to commit

or stand idly by watching cases of domestic abuse occur. At Bentley, we wanted to incorporate this campaign in such a manner that all people (rather than one sex) were equal. We know that relationship violence occurs with men and women. Overall, several members of the Bentley community have taken the pledge, which relates to all relationships (dating, friendship, family, group, roommates, etc.) and all forms of relationship violence (from harassment through physical abuse). Along with taking this pledge, people signed a White Ribbon Campaign poster, which will later be hung in the Student Center as a reminder for all. Participants were given a white ribbon to wear, magnets to hang up, and information on the pledge, different forms of relationship violence, and on cam-

pus resources. The White Ribbon Campaign was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from our community. The campaign was signed by over 225 students on the first day alone. NERV, with material sponsored by Earl Avery’s office, had to re-order materials before the month was done. Due to this, NERV is hoping, with the support of its supporters, to continue this campaign for future students to take part in annually.


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Consent Day 2011 By Traci Abbott, Ph.D. Co-Advisor On April 7th, The Bentley Women’s Center, along with 22 other organizations, participated at the third annual Consent Day, sponsored by the Center for Health and Wellness, Student Activities, and Residence Life. Members of the Women’s Center helped plan the event, where a record 537 students attended in addition to the over 60 volunteers who staffed the tables. The Women’s Center ran its always popular roulette wheel game, and through games, prizes, t-shirts, and upbeat songs, the event is able to engage students in an otherwise tricky and sometimes disheartening subject, as noted by the tagline on its flipbook: “Bentley Stands Up Against Sexual Assault.” We all, as the flipbook states, have the right to live, work, and socialize in a “respectful and safe environment.” Consent Day is about emphasizing the right way to interact with each other so that we can stop sexual misconduct, defined as rape, attempted rape, attempted sexual assault, unwanted touching or groping, stalking (including cyber -stalking), and harassment.

College women are most at risk for sexual assault than any other age group, and the majority of college rape survivors, 90%, know their attackers. So what is consent? It is about open and respectful communication. What are your personal boundaries? What are your partner’s? Often we do not appreciate how much miscommunication can occur when people make assumptions about what others want or expect. We misinterpret people’s feelings or make judgments without knowing the full story. The best way to avoid misunderstandings is to be expressive and explicit about what you do – and do not – want, what you like, and what you dislike. It’s about making sure you each understand the other’s feelings and respect them before moving forward. And it’s about communicating about these topics again and again, not assuming that what has occurred or been discussed previously means there is no need to repeat the discussion or ask for a response. Consent is also about being

Consent Day Flipbook showbook.aspx? ID=10002942_403775. respectful when people can’t or won’t communicate. If you are unsure what your partner wants or are getting mixed signals, then stop. If it’s not a mutual decision, it’s not mutual. Consent means doing what you both want, when you both want to do it. Lack of consent occurs when someone cannot consent, such as when they are drunk, high, or otherwise incapacitated. In those cases, the Consent Day flipbook advises, “Why take the risk?” There are many resources on campus, including the Women’s Center, to remind us what consent is and isn’t. The sponsors of Consent Day have put together a useful and comprehensive resource, the Consent Day flipbook. The Women’s Center can also direct you to campus resources like The Center for Health & Wellness, Counseling & Student Development, Residence Life, and Campus Police, as well as area resources, if you or a friend has been a victim of sexual misconduct or attempted sexual misconduct. The Women’s Center is proud to be part of such a successful event on such an important topic!


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Thank You to Dr. Kathleen Yorkis!

Dr. Kathleen Yorkis has made tremendous contributions to the Bentley Women’s Center in her role as Vice President for Student Affairs. We are very thankful for her help and hard work to promote women’s initiatives to the Bentley community. We wish her the best of luck in her retirement.


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Are you in an Unhealthy Relationship? By Peter C. Forkner, Ph.D. Bentley CSD Counselor/NERV Member We see them all the time. On television. In movies. Even in our own friendships and families. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be difficult to identify when we are the one in the unhealthy relationship. A healthy relationship is one that is caring and enriching. People in healthy relationships report feeling confident, comfortable and emotionally supported. In contrast, unhealthy relationships are emotionally consuming, manipulative, and abusive. People in unhealthy relationships report arguing frequently or feel that their opinions are often ignored or dismissed. It’s not that people in healthy relationships don’t argue – in fact, it is quite normal to have disagreements with all people in your life from time to time. However, people in healthy relationships can respectfully listen to each other and resolve these disagreements through positive communication that leaves both parties feeling good. Overall, being in an unhealthy relationship is exhausting and stressful and can have a major negative impact on other aspects of your life including school, work, and other relationships. Although we often only think of romantic relationships when using the term “unhealthy relationship,” it is important to realize that ALL types of relationships can be unhealthy including friend, family, and work. If you are in an unhealthy relationship or know of someone who is, please seek (or recommend seeking) help from a trusted friend, family member, or possibly a counseling professional.

Please take the quiz below to help identify whether you might be in an unhealthy relationship. Answer YES or NO to the following questions: Are you in a relationship in which the other person ever:        

Demands to read your text messages or emails? Accesses your accounts (email, Facebook, etc.) without your consent? Nags or forces you to be sexual when you don’t want to be? Becomes physically rough with you (push, shove, grab, restrain) or physically threatens or intimidates you? Blames all arguments and problems on you or excuses his/her behavior because he/she was drunk? Tells you to “shut up” or calls you names? Tells you what you can/cannot wear or with whom you can/cannot hang out? Manipulates you to make you feel like you must stay in the relationship (e.g., threatens self-harm, makes you feel sorry for him/her)? Ignores you or withholds attention, affection, or sex to punish you?

Are you in a relationship in which you ever:     

Feel tied down or feel like you need to constantly “check in?” Feel afraid to make decisions or bring up certain issues so the other person won’t get mad? Find yourself not talking to friends/family about the other person’s behavior for fear that they will disapprove of him/her? Find yourself worrying or obsessing about how to please the other person and keep him/her happy? Find yourself avoiding friends or family in order to keep the other person happy?

If you answered YES to ANY of the previous questions, this is an indication that you may be in an unhealthy relationship. These relationships can be difficult to fix or extricate yourself from and, as such, it is in your best interest to discuss it with friends, family, or a counseling professional.

Bentley University Women’s Center (781)-891-3112 LaCava 120 Bentley University LAC 120 175 Forest Street Waltham, MA 02452

Our Mission Statement “To Promote and enhance the academic achievements, professional performance, and personal development of women and men at Bentley by striving to create a more inclusive and supportive environment by encouraging understanding and acceptance among a diverse community of men and women.”

Please contact the Newsletter Editor/ VP of RRR: Kathryn Burgner with any feedback, interest, or questions regarding this newsletter.

Announcements 

Our Co-Advisor, Stephanie Kendall, welcomed the birth of her twins on February 25, 2011. Their names are Daniel and Elise!

Last general meeting will be on Monday, May 2nd at 2:10pm in the Center. (The seniors will be painting handprints and it will be a potluck late lunch.) New members are welcome!

Keep your eyes open for our first General Meeting, the Breast Cancer Walk, & our Fall volunteer events!

Congratulations to our co-advisor, Traci Abbott, for being nominated for the Advisor of the Year Falcon Award!

Good luck on Finals and have a wonderful Summer!

We’re on the Web! Email: Follow us on Twitter! @BENTwomencenter Follow us on Facebook! The Bentley Women’s Center

Courtney Smigiel, President Katrina DeFrancesco, Executive Vice President Kathryn Burgner, VP of Resources, Referral, & Recruitment Grace Karon, VP of Programming Olivia LeClair, VP of PR/Media

Ashley King, VP of Production Laura Hansen, Secretary Christine Malloy, Treasurer Logan Michaud, Webmaster Lisa Landry, Awareness & Action Committee Chair

Bentley University Women's Center March/April 2011 Newsletter  
Bentley University Women's Center March/April 2011 Newsletter  

Bi-monthly newsletter for Bentley University's Women's Center