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BAVO hosts game night to raise awareness

| Tuesday, October 15, 2019

As students cram for midterms in libraries, study spaces and dorm rooms, some students opened cardboard boxes and grabbed their favorite board games to play with their friends and peers. They gathered to take a break from studying and to learn and inform students about the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO).

Co-chair of the Green Dot committee for BAVO, junior Meghan McNamara talked about how BAVO changed the event to fit better to what they felt the student body needed.

“It was supposed to be like a human life-size Game of Life and then we were going to have facts about what BAVO does, but with midterms and everything we did not want it to be too stressful and big,” McNamara said. “We thought it would be a nice break for people to just come and play games.”

Students attended for a variety of reasons, including to relax.

“I’m here to de-stress and also hang out with these cool ladies,” junior and BAVO member Jordan Gilchrist said.

Others hoped to inform the Saint Mary’s community about BAVO’s mission.

“I am here to play board games and to de-stress, but also to take the opportunity to educate others about BAVO and what we stand for,” junior Audrina Massey and BAVO member said.

BAVO offered prizes for the winners, a variety of stickers, handouts and information about what BAVO does.

McNamara said that Green Dot is a subcommittee of BAVO that focuses on bystander intervention. The event highlighted some of the new initiatives this year, under the new leadership of Liz Coulston.

“[Coulston] is really trying to go towards the sisterhood and do more events that are inclusive,” McNamara said. “She wants BAVO to be known on campus, and she is doing a really good job at planning events that people want to go to and are better and interesting.”

This event focused less on addressing sexual assault on campus and more on building community and reestablishing BAVO’s place on campus, McNamara said, though BAVO is still involved in issues surrounding sexual assault and relationship violence.

“We are trying to be inclusive and there for everyone,” McNamara said. “It does not always have to be hard topics or all the time. We are trying to be inclusive and understand the stress that students are going to be feeling and give them a place to release it in public, and still give them the opportunity to learn about BAVO.”

McNamara said that BAVO’s objective of building sisterhood and support extends beyond helping victims of violence, and towards building a community between all of Saint Mary’s women.

“We are giving [the students] different ways to meet new people, or to connect with people, to strive and to learn new things,” McNamara said. “This is just people being there for each other and we are giving them different ways to look out for one another.”

BAVO is hosting an event at Tuesday’s soccer game to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and encourages all to show up and wear purple in support of victims of domestic abuse. They are also hosting a candlelit yoga event Wednesday.

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