During the month of October The Villanovan met with Caroline Heiland, Alpha Chi Omega’s Philanthropy Chair, to discuss how the sorority participated in October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month and spread awareness for the movement throughout campus.
The Villanovan (TV): Can you give me a little background about your role as a Philanthropy Chair of Alpha Chi Omega, aspects of your role?
Caroline Heiland (CH): As Philanthropy Chair I plan about three to four big events throughout the year. Ladies Tea is one of them, which is when we invite all the important women in our lives, we have a big brunch and a raffle. Previously, we’ve raised 5,000 dollars. During the fall semester, October is Domestic Violence Awareness month where we dedicate a week to DVA tabling, doing bake sales and just spreading awareness. We have an upcoming event on November 19 at Cafe Nova from 7p.m. to 9p.m. where we’ll have unlimited pizza provided.
TV: Seeing that October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month or “DVA” as you put it for short, what influenced Alpha Chi Omega to take part in an initiative to spread awareness?
CH: For Alpha Chi Omega, DVA is a year round thing, an objective of the Alpha Chi Omega headquarters. Although we only spend a week on campus specifically tabling for DVA, 90% of what we raise throughout the year goes to Laurel House, which is a women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence. As a sorority, we frequently volunteer there, celebrate the women’s birthdays there, donate toiletries, etc. The other 10% of funds raised goes to the Alpha Chi Omega organization.
TV: What specific things did you do to spread awareness during DVA week?
CH: We hand out a lot of pamphlets that include statistics on the prevalence of domestic violence in college. For example, one in three women in college are victims of domestic violence, one in four women in general are victims, and one in five men are victims. We also provide information about on campus resources, local resources and even resources on the national level. We also really highlight promoting healthy relationships, instead of focusing solely on violence, which is a good reminder that Healthy Relationships Week is in February.
TV: Can you tell me more about on campus domestic violence?
CH: Yes, of course. People are often scared to talk about it, because these things, more often than not, happen with someone you know, and the abuser is often someone people know. Just using the resources Villanova has, or just telling someone, is essential if someone is in that situation.
TV: Are there any more things you’d like to touch on regarding Domestic Violence, or informationyou learned while researching and spreading awareness of the topic?
CH: Harping on the statistics, I mean, one in three college women are victims, so if you think about a trio of best friends, one of them is a victim. It is a scary thing to think about but necessary to keep in mind. Speaking to girls in my sorority, they more often than not have something to say about DVA personally. Lastly, rhetoric is important. Verbalizing and being open to speak about it is important.