Today: Jun 17, 2024

Red and Green Flags Everywhere Outside of the Buley Library 

Brandon Cortés – Contributor

With an immense number of students flooding the outskirts of the Buley library with red flags and green flags everywhere, students learn what healthy and unhealthy relationships are.  

Coordinator of Victim Advocacy & Support Services Colleen Kearney, together with some members of Peace Club, inaugurated the campaign on red and green flags on relationships outside Buley Library. They offered hot chocolate for those who participated by writing on the flags whatever they thought could be a red flag or a green flag in a relationship. 

“The main objective of this event is to raise awareness on Southern’s campus about what is healthy and what is unhealthy in relationships,” Kearney said. 

Kearney says the Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs– red flags– for sexual assault, dating violence or stalking in a friend’s relationship. 

“This campaign is not only exclusive to Southern,” said Kearney. “But it has also been present at numerous universities and campuses across the country.” 

According to the National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence survey– conducted by the CSC– over 71% of women and over 55% of men first experienced intimate partner violence– sexual or physical violence and/or stalking– under the age of 25. 

“We’re talking about young adults or teenagers experiencing this type of thing, which is very alarming,” Kearney said. 

However, the Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center is committed to helping create a campus community of respect and safety.  

“As a coordinator of VPAS, I’m able to support students by providing assistance with obtaining a restraining order or protective order, discuss a safety plan and even accompany any meetings, court proceedings related to the incident,” said Kearney. 

VPAS Peer Mentor Taylor Wasilewski explains that in the past she approached VPAS for help, and that as a result she has dedicated herself to helping more people. 

“I was going through a difficult time in my life, so I approached VPAS for help and resources. After a while, they offered me a job, and here I am, helping people,” Wasilewski said. 

Wasilewski says red flags can be many things in a relationship, ranging from behaviors to even unwanted actions. 

“Red flags can be things like dishonesty, physical abuse, disrespect, intimidation or even gaslighting,” Wasilewski said. “However, green flags are positive things like honesty, mutual respect and trust.” 

“Something that I would classify as a red flag in a relationship is mistrust. Suppose you tell your partner that you are going out and they ask you the reason why you are going out and with whom. That’s when you realize that there is no type of trust at all, and that your partner doesn’t trust you,” history major Jordan Jones, a freshman, said. 

Nevertheless, Kearney says that she hopes that this campaign serves to raise awareness about red flags in relationships and to help young people be more aware of what kind of partner they have, and that they can always count on the support of VPAS for anything. 

“VPAS has its doors open to any student, and we hope to continue helping more students in the future,” Kearney said. 

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