Marquette Wire

O’Donnell upholds teeter totter tradition

Rachel Kubik

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In case you haven’t noticed the students teeter-tottering in random locations throughout campus over the past few days, the O’Donnell Teeter Totter Marathon is currently taking place once again. It began last Sunday and is running from 7 a.m.- 9 p.m. each day through Halloween.

The Teeter Totter Marathon is in its 13th year and consists of men (and some women, such as desk receptionists) from O’Donnell teeter-tottering to represent the equal balance both parties constantly need in any relationship. The men of the hall have been raising awareness for sexual violence and domestic abuse, and have asked their fellow Marquette students, family members and friends to donate to the Sojourner Family Peace Center, a Milwaukee organization that offers resources and support for everyone affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

There have been several changes made to this event. In the past, the event was just held at O’Donnell Hall. This year, it is at O’Donnell, the Alumni Memorial Union’s Westowne Square, outside Raynor Library and in front of Cobeen. The teeter totter is slowly working away and making its way back to O’Donnell throughout the week.

“(This) way, we can be present in more places throughout the day where more people are going by the teeter totter and create more awareness,” said Corey Fereday, the O’Donnell residence hall director.

In addition, it was previously held for three consecutive days, all 72 hours. Now it is spread out into a week with more reasonable hours.

“The (Community Planning Committee) student leaders really wanted to make sure the symbol was present all around campus, and so that was one of the advantages of having it be an entire week long event, as opposed to having it in the middle of the night when no one is there,” Fereday said.

Patrick Werner, a freshman in the College of Business Administration and the O’Donnell chairman of the CPC said he is excited about the event and continuing the tradition of his residence hall.

“Seeing people in a random spot, teeter tottering, for one hour…some people will think it’s really funny, some people will think it’s just really weird,” Werner said.

Along with the two riders there will always be an RA or member from the CPC council supervising.

Another new aspect Werner hopes to implement is a message board for people to write notes to the people riding the teeter totter.

“I think it would be a lot of fun. Then we’ll be able to put those up on Twitter for O’Donnell,” Werner said.

Werner said the main goal of the event is to raise as much money as possible for the Sojourner Peace Center. He also hopes O’Donnell wins the National Residence Hall Honorary of the Month Award for the event.

“It’s good to really start off on a consistent track,” said Blake Hartman, a freshman in the College of Business Administration and the O’Donnell representative. “It’s been the big event that OD is known for. It’s recognized and popular. It’s been the tradition. We can get ourselves going on a good foot.”

Dean Siapkaris, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and resident of O’Donnell said he couldn’t participate in the event because there weren’t any time slots available that fit his schedule. However, he is still promoting the event.

“The Teeter Totter Marathon is great for not only Marquette and O’Donnell, but the community as a whole,” Siapkaris said. “I think that bringing awareness to abuse and violence in general is important to solving many of the problems on college campuses today.”

Statistically, men are more likely to commit acts of sexual violence and domestic abuse than women. According to the Association of American Universities, 23 percent of female undergraduate students will experience sexual assault. That equates to one in five women.

“I think it’s important to call out the elephant in the room,” Fereday said. “As an all-male residence hall, I think it’s awesome that men of O’Donnell can take a stand and say that this is something we object to. I think that those types of messages really point to leadership in our society.”

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