Promoting healthy relationships a yard at a time

May 2018     No Comments

The SUNY Poly Utica campus community came together in late April to take part in “Yards for Yeardley,” an event that challenges people to walk, run, and roll toward a campus goal of 1,000,000 yards. Overall, volunteers surpassed that goal, completing 1,076,837.6 yards to raise awareness around violence stemming from relationships.

“SUNY “Yards for Yeardley” campus events are driven by our students, which is a testament to their commitment to end relationship abuse and protect their fellow students and people in their local communities,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “On behalf of the SUNY family, I am pleased to support this program. My thanks to SUNY Polytechnic Institute for the yards covered by students, faculty, staff, and the community.”

“We are proud that so many members of our SUNY Poly community made the decision to support this event which is taking place across a number of SUNY campuses, not only walking or running to help us reach our campus goal of 1 million yards for Yeardley, but to help spread the word about how important it is to be aware of and address the warning signs of potential violence that could result from an unhealthy relationship, especially during our students’ formative years,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Bahgat Sammakia.

SUNY Poly joined SUNY campuses across New York State in the month of April with the goal of reaching 50 million yards in honor of Yeardley Love and others who have lost their lives to violence related to a relationship. Love, a University of Virginia student and athlete, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before her graduation in 2010, and family and friends believe her death could have been prevented.

“SUNY Poly is dedicated to making its campuses a safe space for students to gain a valuable education and exciting student experience, and we hope that this effort, which has focused extensively on educating our students about the differences between healthy and unhealthy behaviors, will empower our students to use this critical information to help themselves, a friend, or a member of our community,” said Katie Tynan, SUNY Poly Title IX Director.

In Yeardley’s honor, the One Love organization aims to increase awareness about healthy and unhealthy relationships. As part of this effort, numerous educational One Love Foundation Escalation Workshops have been held with SUNY Poly students, including students involved in a number of on-campus student groups as well as student athletes, in order to proactively prevent this type of violence.