As the Halloween wind and rain pushed and encouraged bright red and yellow leaves to finally fall from the trees all over Longwood’s campus, various sisters of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority were swinging on the bench swing across from Greenwood Library to promote awareness of domestic violence from October 31st at 3 p.m. to November 1st at 3 p.m.
The week of October 28th through November 1st was Alpha Sigma Tau’s Domestic Violence Awareness Week, using the tag-line ‘Break the Silence on Domestic Violence’ on their social media flyer.
Their first event of the week was held on Monday, October 28th. To start things off, some of the sisters handed out ribbons for their cause in Dorrill Dining Hall around lunchtime.
On Tuesday October 29th, the sisters of Alpha Sigma Tau held two events to help promote awareness to prevent domestic abuse.
During the day, sisters encouraged people to paint their hands and stamp them on their banner on Brock Commons as a way of making a pledge against domestic violence.
Then, Alpha Sigma Tau hosted a Spirit Night at Uptown Coffee Cafe to further spread the word about their philanthropy.
The sorority’s Swing-a-thon was their final event for their philanthropy week and it saw the sisters take shifts to keep swinging the entire time.
They hung up their banner that said "Break Silence Stop Violence" behind them on the bench swing. A couple things also pictured were a teal and purple ribbon along with a grey megaphone echoing on a white background.
One noticeable and unique image that stood out on the left side of the banner was two hand prints splattered in purple paint.
When asked if the hand prints were accidental or not, Manning Dean, the president of the sorority’s Zeta Tau chapter, said, “The purple hands were actually for the other banner we made, but a couple of the girls got a little ahead of themselves.”
The unique choice to swing through the windy evening weather on Halloween night for a good cause, such as helping prevent domestic abuse, demonstrated a great deal of dedication from the sorority.
Dean also stated, “Our Director of Philanthropy set up the event, but we used to do a Rock-a-thon like this with rocking chairs about ten years ago. That event lasted for 24 hours as well. So, we just wanted to bring it back for the sake of tradition.”
Alpha Sigma Tau is a sorority that primarily focuses on supporting and empowering women, and they kept up with that tradition, as well, by making sure their voices were heard at Longwood University.
Dean mentioned, “These events are important as a way just to bring Domestic Violence Awareness to Longwood’s campus, especially since the majority of this campus is female.”
Events like the Swing-a-thon not only benefit the great causes that a lot of sororities are dedicated to, but they further promote awareness of Greek life and help different sororities grow as well.
Dean explained why she thought the Swing-a-thon helped Alpha Sigma Tau: “Well it shows off our philanthropy, and it allows us to work with other organizations on campus to work for causes like this.”
Domestic violence is an issue that affects a large amount of families in places all over the world. If you know someone who is living through domestic abuse, please reach out to family, friends, or a local shelter as soon as possible.