Monday, October 2

Ladies fireside chat creates healthy dialogue

By Alyssa Valletta

Handling emotions, learning to set boundaries, and healthy sexuality are a few of the topics female students on campus are discussing with each other, Trevecca RDs and other women leaders.

For the second year, Counseling Services is teaming up with RDs to offer female students a safe place to ask questions about everything from friendship to sex to avoiding too-busy schedules.

“This is a way to reach out to people, the women specifically, who may feel like they don’t need counseling necessarily,” said Amanda Daly, director of counseling services.

Daly said Fireside Chats were created last year to begin a conversation on important topics in the daily lives of college students.

The counseling center typically sees an increase in referrals after each chat and also receives positive feedback from women who attended, she said.

About 40 women gathered last month for a session on becoming a holistic woman.

Resident Directors Heather Bryant, Lindsey Sparrow, and Kayleigh Hofer, as well as Jennifer Neely, coordinator of sophomore year programs, answered students’ questions about keeping up with physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health.

It’s good to have an understanding of all these aspects, and learning how to balance them is key to being a healthy person, Bryant said.

“Our goal is to help make each student successful in life, not just academics,” Bryant said.

The panelists said that if one part of life is lacking or weak, the other parts will be affected as well.  A lacking spiritual life will usually affect your emotional health, for example.

In the discussion portion of the night, some questions were asked regarding how to continue friendships with college friends after graduation, and also how to connect with new people in the workplace, a new town or church, etc.

Up next for discussion: sex.

Last year about 90 women attended the chat about sex, as opposed to the usual 45 or so, Daly said.

Students have a lot of unanswered questions about sex and that is one reason why the event was so popular, she said.

The counseling center does not offer any other form of group discussions or support groups, and doesn’t have anything available for Trevecca men.

However, student development is pushing for more groups and discussions for guys, Bryant said.

Bryant sees a future for more chats and group events for all students, especially involving the merging of departments, such as events supported by the religion department and the counseling center.

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