V-Week activities raise $5,000 for domestic violence awareness


Cast members and organizers of “The Vagina Monologues” pose together on stage after their performance at the Performing Arts Center. This year, for the first time since the play came to FMU, two performances were held, one in the Fine Arts Center and one at the PAC.

Veronica Stark, Assistant Editor

V-Week at Francis Marion University recently raised $5,000 for domestic violence awareness. Proceeds from FMU V-Week went to the Pee Dee Coalition.

English Instructor Lisa Stuchell has been the publicity coordinator for two years and made it her goal to inform the Florence community about “The Vagina Monologues.”

“I sent out post cards to local gynecologists and had the Florence Morning News write a story about it,” Stuchell said.

Over 250 people came to “The Vagina Monologues” performance in the Chapman Auditorium, and the Black Box at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) sold out. Stuchell recognizes that many people can relate to “The Vagina Monologues.”

“There are a lot of perspectives in the monologues, and it tried to branch out to all races and backgrounds,” Stuchell said. “That’s why a lot of people can relate to it.”

Stuchell said she thinks everyone should experience watching “The Vagina Monologues.”

Associate Professor of Theatre History Dawn Larsen is the director of “The Vagina Monologues” and is involved with V-Week.

Larsen brought “The Vagina Monologues” to FMU in 2008. Her favorite thing about V-Week is the play itself.  She brought it to FMU because she had a personal experience and wanted to help other women.

“I am a domestic abuse survivor,” Larsen said. “I had been directing the play in Tennessee where I taught before for four years.  It helps women by raising money and creating awareness of the problem of domestic violence.  It also shows women that they are not alone.”

Brooke Mogy, a fresh-man majoring in mass communication, performed the role of “My Vagina Was My Village” in “The Vagina Monologues,” a serious monologue based off of the Bosnian War. She felt that participating in V-Week and in “The Vagina Monologues” changed her outlook.

“I felt a sense of camaraderie amongst women that I’ve never experienced before,” Mogy said. “I think hearing all of the stories and diversity showed how we shouldn’t be afraid to say things and to be women.”

There were a variety of activities held during V-Week. It began with “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer” where men and women read stories.

V-Week also included Take Back the Night, an event that calls attention to the fact that women should not be afraid to walk alone at night.

The Clothesline Project allowed students to draw on plain T-shirts that are donated to the Pee Dee Coalition. This particular cause raised awareness for women who fight domestic violence.

The Tree of Hope was formed in order to let students tie a different color ribbon to a branch that had a special significance.

The Wall of Stories let individuals write their stories on the wall of the cafeteria, or they could draw a picture of how they feel.

A fashion show preceded each showing of “The Vagina Monologues” with models wearing alternative textile costumes walking out to the song “Strength of a Woman.”

The V-Day movement has raised over $­80 million  and reached many people from across the world.

Proceeds from FMU’s V-Week went to the Pee Dee Coalition.