Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Halloween talent show funds for STOP Domestic Violence

The Title IX Office celebrates domestic violence awareness month every year with its annual talent show that provides support to the fight against domestic violence with performances by the PSUC community.

The first show was organized in 2016 by former Violence Prevention Education and Outreach Coordinator Dinai Robertson. Since then, Title IX has hosted the talent show with all the proceeds donated to the STOP Domestic Violence program created by Behavioral Health Services North, Inc.

STOP provides the Plattsburgh community, along with PSUC students, with 24-hour support pertaining to domestic violence with hotlines, crisis intervention and women support groups. STOP Community Educator and Volunteer Coordinator Genie Denton was present to briefly provide PSUC students with her insights on domestic violence perpetrators and Halloween.

“When we think of Halloween, we think about masks,” Denton said. “There are people who wear masks everyday in our society, like abusers and criminals who look like normal people.”

In Denton’s role at STOP, she serves as an advocate for violent crime victims. She raises awareness of domestic violence within her community and oversees the work of PSUC students who intern for the office, located in 302A Beaumont. Denton and her staff are on campus every Wednesday morning.

“Just because we’re here on Wednesday mornings doesn’t mean we’re not available at other times,” Denton said. “I have the [office] key and am more than happy to open it up.”

Denton has faced domestic violence in her personal life and finds her job to be enjoyable and cathartic. The show featured PSUC organizations, clubs and individual students showing the audience their particular talents through song, dance and poetry. To uphold tradition, current PSUC Violence Prevention Education and Outreach Coordinator Zyaijah Nadler organized this year’s talent show, which she estimated raised between $80 to $95 from ticket sales. Nadler graduated from PSUC in December 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice. Nadler explains how she applies her degrees to her work at PSUC.

“Sociology is learning why society does what it does,” Nadler said. “My job is to teach a large community to unlearn everything [negative] they thought was OK growing up.”

Nadler worked together with Coffee House to spread the word to students and faculty with emails, fliers and other reachout methods. The collaboration was also meant to make the show as fun as possible for both the audience and the performers.

Sociology major Ginny Weir enjoyed the talent show and commends Title IX for spreading awareness about Domestic Violence.

“ [The talent show] is a good cause that needs attention,” Weir said. “ [Domestic Violence] affects more people than you think.”

Title IX Coordinator Butterfly Blaise attended the event to show support for the cause. Blaise believes domestic violence is a widespread issue that harms many people.

“You’d be very hard pressed to find someone not affected by domestic violence,” Blaise said. “It’s something that I think we have to really put a focus on every day. Not just for the month of October.”

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