Panel addresses love, friendship

Kelly Richardson

Valentine’s Day may have been over a month ago, but love is still in the air.

Or it was Tuesday in Downing University Center, which was the site of the Love and Friendship Seminar put together by the Psi Chi Club and Erin Davis, the DUC evening event program coordinator.

The seminar addressed questions such as whether the success of a relationship can be based on sex, if living together before marriage is harmful or helpful to a relationship and how to know if you’ve found “the one.”

The seminar started five years ago with the Psi Chi Club and was held in Tate Page Hall. Davis said she experienced it as a student and was impressed by it.

“The students really get involved,” she said. “Pretty much everything is discussed there.”

When Davis graduated and became events coordinator, she brought the seminar to DUC so the entire student body could experience it.

And students have taken advantage of it. Attendance was 70-plus last year, and it was just as full this year, with people bringing in chairs from other rooms and others sitting on the floor.

Students wrote their questions on slips of paper, and they were read out loud. Three panelists were present to answer the questions. Betsy Pierce, the counseling services staff psychologist, Patty Randolph, a psychology instructor, and Arvin Vos, a philosophy professor, were the panelists.

They’ve all done the seminar before and agree that a seminar like this is important for the students.

“(It) gives them hints to improve their relationships,” Vos said.

Christina Antoine, a senior from Hamilton, Ontario, and her husband, Rafael, a senior from Chicago, said they both found the seminar helpful.

“I enjoyed the open discussion and getting feedback on love and relationships,” Rafael said.

Christina and Rafael took away different messages from the seminar.

“Each situation is different,” Christina said. “I think you have to follow your heart and listen to yourself.”

“Love isn’t just a word,” Rafael said, looking at his wife. “It’s a philosophy, it’s a mindset.”

Reach Kelly Richardson at [email protected]