FMU celebrates V-Week

Megan Ogiltree, Staff Writer

Francis Marion University will hold its annual V-Week from Monday, Feb. 25 to Saturday, March 2 in an effort to raise awareness, education and money for women affected by domestic violence and sexual abuse. This year’s theme for V-Week is “Be the Power.” There will be different events held each day, many of which were held last year, as well as some new ones.

Foreplays is a new event during this year’s festivities. It is a number of short plays that are written and performed by FMU students. The topic of these plays will range from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases to recreational sex and fetishes. FMU’s V-Week committee has partnered with the Wellness Coalition to present these plays on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

English Instructor Lisa Stuchell suggests that the best thing about foreplays is that it forms a partnership between Wellness Coalition and resident playwright and professor of English Jon Tuttle.

“We’re very excited about this new event and partnership,” Stuchell said.

FMU will also be bringing back Penny Wars to this year’s V-Week. Penny Wars involves three male professors at FMU. Each professor’s name will be written on a jar, and for three days, students, faculty and staff can contribute money to the jars in order to decide the winner. The winning professor will wear a dress on the day of the Vagina Monologues and win a free ticket to the performance.

The Vagina Monologues will take place on Saturday, March 2. It is an award-winning play based on V-Day founder Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. The cost of attendance is $10.

Sophmore mass communication major Taylor O’Berry attended The Vagina Monologues last year and said she had a great time.

“I really liked The Vagina Monologues last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again this year,” O’Berry said.

Stuchell said the event that she is mostly looking forward to is “Any One Of Us.” This event was created by the nursing professors and Tracy Aniello, Manager of Health Services, in Student Health and takes place in the Lee Nursing Building. Information will be provided on topics such as bullying, the rape kit and post traumatic stress disorder. There will be door prizes and free condoms given to those who attend the event.

Other events at this year’s V-Week include One Billion Rising, Take Back the Night, The Wall of Stories and The Clothesline Project.  T-shirts and chocolate vaginas will be sold throughout the week.

According to Stuchell, South Carolina has the second highest rate of domestic violence in the country; V-Week is important because it creates awareness, education and emotional support for women and those affected by domestic abuse and sexual assault.

“All proceeds from t-shirt sales, ticket sales, Penny Wars, et cetera. will benefit the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assualt,” Stuchell said, “Therefore, this week helps and benefits everyone in this region and state, and it is so much fun to participate in these events.”

If you are interested in getting involved and helping out with V-Week contact English Instructor Natalie Mahaffey.