Today: May 22, 2024

#MeToo Healing Quilt and ‘The Hunting Grounds’ film

Alexandra ScicchitanoOpinions & Features Editor

The event, The Hunting Ground to the Healing Ground unveiled the finished #MeToo SCSU Healing Quilt, showed the film The Hunting Ground and held a panel with nine panelists.

To fully finish the #MeToo Healing Quilt, Alex Girard drove all the way to Wisconsin to have his mother help put it together.

“I actually drove those pieces to Milwaukee, Wisc. where my mother pieced it together,” said Girard, an assistant professor and coordinator of graphic design. “So, my mom actually constructed it, and then her friend helped to bind it and did the quilting of it.”

Girard said everyone working on the quilt is trying to find the best way to show that they are “honoring the intent behind it and are celebrating all that positive energy.”

According to Emeritus Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Virginia Metaxas the eventual location of the quilt will be in the Student Union.

Metaxas said the reason they started the quilt project was because of an incident that happened last year.

“There was an unfortunate incident where one morning the students and Trisha [Lin] came into the office there was a poster plastered on the Women Studies office and it had a picture of Kavanaugh and written across his face said ‘Kavanaugh did nothing wrong’ around the poster. There were certain symbols that depicted white supremacy, sort of pro-rape kind of symbols and things,” said Metaxas.

Girard said the reason he wanted to help the quilt and why it was important to him was because “[I] was really bothered that people were using my tools and output, my field as a designer to spread messages of hate.”

President Joe Bertolino said the quilt project is a great way to express thoughts and emotions creatively.

“[The quilt] as a collective makes a statement about who we are and what we value as a community and the fact that the members of our community are never alone in their struggle,” Bertolino said.

Spanish education major Bekah Burke, a sophomore, said that every time she looks at the quilt again, something new catches her eye.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting everything that I did see here,” said Burke. “I especially like the ones in different languages or the ones that allude to issues bigger than simply feminism, because I think feminism should be humanitarianism that should include everything.”

English major Miranda Kross, a junior, said she was also very surprised by the quilt.

“[The quilt] definitely stands for something that matters to me personally,” said Kross.

The quilt itself, Kross said, is a “testament to women.”

“My biggest dream for this, I think, is that its great people will acknowledge it, but I think there are people that will see it and we may never know they see it, and it will give them a sense of belonging and peace and hope,” said Girard. “To me, that’s the most powerful thing we can do here.”

After the film screening, a panel went up to answer questions about the film or other issues rallied by the audience.

The panel was made up of one graduate student, one foundation member, two current Southern students and five staff or faculty members of the campus.

Burke was one audience member that asked questions on past sexual misconduct cases involving faculty or staff on campus and expressed concern about safety on campus.

“I think you’ll appreciate that control is in the survivor’s hands,” said Tracy Tyree, the vice president for student affairs. “Investigations depend on what the survivor wants, how much they want to proceed. If we believe there is threat to the community, we will do some things that we believe should be done even if the survivor doesn’t want to be involved in an investigation.”

Continuing to quell students’ fears, Tyree said “when we move forward if the survivor even doesn’t pursue an investigation but needs some things to happen to feel safe, we take those measures as well.”

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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