On Tuesday, Nov. 16, women across campus gathered in the Black Box Theater for an event called Stand Up for Your Sister. Like many other universities across the nation, Northwestern College adopted this event to support this nonprofits mission.
“We are an active community working to empower young adult women facing mental illness, loss, abuse, eating disorders, assault and other taboo topics,” the board of directors said. “We want to support those who believe they are alone in these battles through financial assistance and engaging presentations.”
Stand Up for Your Sister is an event that takes place to educate all individuals in leading the movement of breaking down stigmas and educating others around them nationwide. This event was organized by several strong and faithful women in leadership here at NW. These women are Lindsay Hubbell, Martha Draayer, Barb Dewald, Natalie Wheeler, Caylan DeLucia and Julie Elliott. At the beginning of this event, resident director of the apartments, Hubbell, opened with prayer and introduced what was going to take place.
“We hope there is healing and freedom in the space tonight,” Hubbell said. “Everyone has received the forty-two-question survey, a black pen and a laminated picture.”
After the introduction, there was a time for worship and the women participating had time to fill out the survey. The survey consisted of questions both difficult and tough to answer, but this was completely anonymous. Once all the surveys were filled out, they were placed in baskets around the room to be mixed up and handed back to a different person than who filled it out. Other students who were participating then read the question out loud, and if it was marked yes on the new survey received, the women would then “stand up” for their sister. These questions were meant to show that the women who answered yes, were not alone in the struggle with addiction, mental illness and more.
“The overall big picture goal is to show that our female students on campus are not alone,” DeLucia said. “And I think we did exactly that.”
Abigail Blok, a resident of Stegenga Hall, felt that the event did what it intended to do.
“I thought that this was amazing,” Blok said. “I loved we were able to come together collectively but privately to share tough experiences. It was really empowering to see so many ladies stand up for things that we may keep a secret or hide.”
Hannah McClintock, a resident of Fern Smith Hall, felt the same way.
“I loved how everything was anonymous, obviously it should’ve been, but I loved that aspect,” McClintock said. “Another thing I loved was that the women who put it together went out of their way to make sure no men were there, and it was a safe pace for us at the time. Dealing with things is hard but dealing with them alone is even harder, so it was comforting to see so many people stand up if they have ever felt alone on campus.”
The statement, “You are a beloved daughter of the King. Be encouraged,” was on the laminated picture given to everyone at the start of the event. After a time of vulnerability, worship and prayer, women were feeling empowered and heard knowing that they shared experiences with others.
For anyone who is struggling on campus, there is a surplus of resources on-and-off-campus. On-campus, resident directors, resident assistants and the campus ministry staff are ready to help with any situation. Off-campus, there are many other resources as well, such as, CAASA- 1 (877) 362-4612, Suicide Prevention- 1 (800) 273-8255, and the Crisis Call Center- (775) 784-8090.