"We walk to remember and we walk to prevent," said Lisa Evaneski, SUNY Oswego Title IX coordinator and lead organizer of the campus-wide event. "Relationship violence is a serious problem everywhere, but between our education programs and Yards for Yeardley, we reach thousands of students and make them part of the solution."
Last year, Oswego's participants logged more than 1.6 million yards, and this year the SUNY Athletic Conference challenged its member campuses collectively to hit 10 million yards in walking, running and other movement on a designated day.
"It's so heartening to see how the campus and our community have embraced this cause and this event," Evaneski said. Student athletic teams, student organizations, individual students, faculty, administrators, community partners and others helped build a foundation for this year's event, she added.
"It was so awesome to be a part of SUNY Oswego's first Yards for Yeardley Campus Challenge and see our campus come together in such a huge way to raise awareness of dating violence," said 2016 graduate Amanda Lieberman Kenney, who helped organize last year's event. "Counting up and announcing all the yards Oswego walked -- a grand total of 1,647,443 (and the first SUNY to complete the challenge) -- was the best way I could have imagined ending my semester as a One Love/Title IX intern."
Supporting One Love
The One Love Foundation draws attention to the statistic that one out of every three women and one out of every four men will experience relationship violence in their lifetimes. The organization began in 2010 to honor Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia student beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before their graduation.
"We have an incredible partnership with the SUNY system, and Oswego has been a great example of how a SUNY can get the entire campus involved," said Jaklyn Van Manen, manager of campus engagement for One Love. "One Love would like to thank Team One Love at Oswego, SUNYAC and Lisa Evaneski for their incredible work in bringing Yards for Yeardley to Oswego for the second year in a row! We can’t wait to see how quickly you all make it to one million yards."
For the April 27 event, participants are asked to show up anytime before 5 p.m. at the Marano Campus Center lawn and to walk or run or roll any distance -- organizers will record distances at the end of participation.
"Last year, some people participated for hours and hours while others found a small amount of time to support the cause," Evaneski said. "We appreciate any support people can provide."
For more information or to register as a volunteer or participant, visit https://www.oswego.edu/title-ix/yards-yeardley