What does love mean to Toreros?
ELAINE SELNA | THE USD VISTA | CONTRIBUTOR
Although the nationally trademarked holiday of Valentine’s Day tends to focus on buying something special for a romantic other, the University of San Diego Women’s Center shared love for all this year. Last Thursday they hosted an on-campus event that included discussions about love, asking students what it means to them.
Senior Elizabeth Stenger, who works at the Women’s Center, thinks that highlighting and recognizing different kinds of love is important.
“We want to spread awareness of different types of love and different expressions of love especially on a college campus around Valentine’s Day,” Stenger said.
At the event there were various activities students could partake in. There was a photo booth area where students could write on a white board what love means to them and have their picture taken. The Women’s Center hopes to create a collage of these images to share with the USD community. Recognizing all types of love is a message they hope will inspire the USD community.
The tables also included “Pay it Forward” notecards that had words of affirmations such as, I think you are beautiful/attractive/a joy to be around. The Women’s Center plans on passing out these notes throughout campus in order to spread the love. One of their goals is to educate people of the USD community about healthy relationships.
Graduate Assistant for the Center, Andrea Reyes, helps the undergraduates working at the Center to create events that benefit the student body.
“I actually did this idea of the notecards with my residents in empowering them to express their love,” Reyes said. “Especially on a holiday like Valentine’s Day where it is always about significant others but […] no, we experience love everyday in different forms.”
Sophomore Kyra Anderson, who has been working at the center for two semesters, thinks this event helped emphasize the different ways students can learn from one another as well as foster mutual respect.
“There are multiple perspectives regarding love,” Anderson said. “There are multiple meanings of love and I think that it is important that we embrace all of them and let people express what they think love is.”
The event attracted students walking on campus and some even took the note cards to pass on the love to friends.
Senior Francesca Calleo shares her plans for spreading the lovely message.
“I am going to give it to my friend Kailey Williams,” Calleo said. “She has been someone I met my freshman year and we’ve been best friends ever since and she is someone who I look up to and also find support in.”
The students in attendance had insightful ideas of what loves means to them and what they think love should look like.
USD Law student Maureen Gregory comments on what love means to her.
“Love is respect to me,” Gregory said. “I think that if you don’t have any respect in a relationship then you have no relationship. Respect is reciprocal.”
Senior Katie Coutermarsh also stopped by to share her appreciation for the message of love spread by the Women’s Center.
“Love means encouragement,” Coutermarsh said. “I think that anyone that loves you in your life or cares about you, whether that is a romantic partner or your friends, they should encourage you to be a better version of yourself.”
The Women’s Center has upcoming events for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 22-26, the screening of “Paris is Burning” Feb. 18, and the production of Vagina Monologues Feb. 22. More information can be found in room 420 in the SLP or on their USD website.
With these events, the Women’s Center hopes to provide an opportunity for empowerment and expression for the members of USD.