The Network Hosts Domestic Violence Awareness 3K


Hayley DiMaria

RACING FOR A REASON: Students met on Whitnall Field to participate in the annual Domestic Violence Awareness 3K benefitting the Let’s Restore Hope Center.

In partnership with Haven, Colgate’s center for sexual violence survivor support, The Network — a student-run organization dedicated to improving awareness about domestic and intimate partner violence on campus and beyond — hosted a 3K for domestic violence awareness on Thursday, Oct. 21, in support of the Help Restore Hope Center, an Oneida-based sexual and domestic violence resource center.

According to Help Restore Hope’s Assistant Supervisor of the center Brittany Flood, their mission is to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the center has held events throughout the month, sending college campus advocates into schools to facilitate bystander intervention training and other kinds of education pertaining to domestic violence and sexual assault. 

“We have been involved with Colgate for many years now,” Flood said. “It’s always good to have connections throughout the school to help with clients who are going through domestic violence, intimate partner relationship violence or sexual assault.”

The Network is a domestic violence and sexual assault awareness group under the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE). Seniors Amelia Showers and Julia Sicklick are the co-leaders of the group. 

“We organize all the meetings, and we meet with our partners at Haven and at the COVE. We communicate with all our group members, and we plan events like the 3K and the Speak Out,” Showers said. The Speak Out was a closed event that took place on Tuesday, Oct 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Women’s Studies, and provided a private space for survivors to speak about their experiences and build community. 

In preparation for the fourth annual Domestic Violence Awareness 3K, Showers and Sicklick communicated with the Help Restore Hope Center and their advocates. Sarah Sparber, the Team Advisor for the Cove and a Co-Staff Advisor to The Network, described how last year’s 3K was slightly different. Due to the ongoing pandemic, they organized a virtual run. This year, however, students were able to participate in person.  According to Sparber, students were able to register at tables in the Coop located in the O’Connor Campus Center.  There was also a QR code at the table at the beginning of the race that enabled participants to register on site. Students could sign up through Greek Letter Organizations, University Commons, sports teams or any type of student group. The prize for the group with the highest number of participants included a sponsored meal from local bakery Flour and Salt. Despite the enticing incentive, Sparber expected a lower turnout for the 2021 Domestic Violence Awareness 3K. 

“This year is just different. I feel like everybody is trying to get back into the swing of things, but we’ve noticed that participation around campus in all programming has been a little lower than normal, and we haven’t had as much participation with sponsorship from the Broad Street houses,” Sparber said.

According to Sicklick, The Network acquired their three co-sponsors — Kappa Kappa Gamma, Beta Theta Pi and Theta Chi — by reaching out to Greek Letter Organizations, as well as the Student Government Association and the Broad Street Association, asking for donations of $150 and above. 

Although The Network was expecting a lower turnout than past years, roughly 150 people participated in the event, which kicked off at 4:30 p.m., with additional time for people to register. Following registration, Showers and Sicklick gave opening remarks to explain where the funds would be allocated and how they will be used. Participants then heard from two representatives from the Help Restore Hope Center. The loop for the 3K began on Whitnall field, winding through downtown Hamilton, before circling back to the field.

“It’s great that so many different people are coming out to support such a meaningful cause,” 3K participant Junior Kai Dasbach said.

Showers and Sicklick said they hope to continue to cultivate greater public awareness of the Help Restore Hope Center and the important work the center does for survivors of sexual violence.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t know about it. We live here for 8 months out of the year, so it’s cool to actually see the stuff that we do at Colgate, which can be a bubble,” Sicklick said. 

Showers considered the event a huge success, citing the large number of pins and purple clothing in the crowd — purple being the color associated with domestic violence awareness. Sicklick also expressed her appreciation for the overwhelming support she felt from the crowd.

“The Track and Field team came and they didn’t have their phones. Instead, they wrote their names down on loose leaf and gathered bills from their shorts, saying ‘we want to give what we can,’” Sicklick said.

Sparber explained why it is important to organize discussions and events surrounding domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is a tough subject to talk about sometimes. I think sometimes intimate partner abuse happens on campus as well as within the area” Sparber said. “It’s so nice that Haven is there for support too. Not only are they there to promote awareness but they are also there as a resource.” 

Showers echoed Sparber’s sentiments, explaining that the event draws people who might not otherwise engage in difficult conversation regarding domestic violence. 

“It’s important, especially at a bigger event like this, because it draws people from corners of campus and organizations that don’t necessarily have a big presence at other smaller events like weekly Haven meetings. I think people get intimidated by smaller groups and smaller events that center around these topics,” Showers said. 

The Network hosts weekly meetings every Monday in the Case Library at 4:15 p.m. Although Haven has a counselor on-call, the Help Restore Hope Center can act as another important resource for students on campus, housed in Haven on Tuesdays, according to Sparber.