Program educates students about different types of love

  • Straz Tower has been hosting Valentine's Day events all week.
  • The events aim to explore love outside of the context of couples, such as self-love and love of God.
  • The week ends with a "middle school-style" dance Friday and an improv performance Saturday.

Although Valentine's Day traditionally focuses on the love between a couple, Straz Tower's Week of Love aims to expand the scope of the holiday.

Through a series of events, students can explore the meaning of love, which includes self-love and unconditional love, said event organizer Patrick Johnson, a sophomore in the College of Education and resident assistant in Straz Tower.

Johnson said the goal of the week is to explore what love really is and to examine the different facets of it.

"Week of Love is all about appreciating those around you as well as yourself," said Josh Christmas, a sophomore in the College of Education and a Straz Tower RA who also helped put the event together.

"I think it's a great way to step back and think outside the box about love," Christmas said.

Johnson said the Week of Love is an event Straz Tower has done before, although it was not held last year.

However, he wanted the focus of this year's Week of Love to be less "superficial" than previous years' events.

"We really wanted to delve into the real personal aspect of (love)," Johnson said.

Straz Tower Hall Director Renee Wiedenhoeft said the aim of the week was to "provide some non-traditional Valentine's Day programming."

The events began Monday with a panel discussion on body image that addressed issues around femininity and masculinity. Tuesday featured a discussion of healthy relationships with the Straz Tower hall minister.

Wednesday's event was billed as "Covering up False Love." Participants were asked to cover up their mirrors for a day and focus instead on telling those around them how beautiful they really are, Johnson said.

At 8 p.m. today, there will be an exercise in spirituality at Straz Tower, focusing on the topic of agape, or unconditional love. The event will feature discussion and reflection.

"The goal is to help people understand love is something that is extremely powerful," Johnson said.

Friday night, Straz Tower will host a "middle school-style" dance at the RecPlex gym.

The dance is a chance for students to reminisce about the awkwardness of adolescence and "dance five feet away from their partner," Johnson said.

It is open to all students with a Marquette ID. Students are allowed to check in one non-Marquette guest.

The week ends with a performance by the student improv group Studio 013 Refugees on Saturday night at Marquette Hall 200.