Spotlight: Team One Love at Ohio State University
- Dec 16, 2016
- By Kelsey Kempner
Team One Love at Ohio State University is led by two incredibly talented students, Kelsey Kempner and Mason Chapello. Here is their story.
I first heard about One Love when I saw the “Delete” Video as part of the #ThatsNotLove Campaign. The video appeared on YouTube and as soon as I saw the video, I went to the website to see if One Love was at my school. When I realized that it wasn’t at Ohio State University, I reached out through One Love’s website and was connected with a member of One Love’s program team. They helped me start Team One Love at OSU and the rest is history!
I was immediately drawn to One Love because of a past relationship I was in. I’ve seen organizations about domestic violence awareness and fundraising before, but none that were specifically directed toward college students. I thought the organization was really wonderful because I think a lot of young people, myself included, are unaware that their relationship might be unhealthy. One Love shows people what healthy relationships look like and teaches young adults that we deserve to be respected in a relationship. I think these are really important lessons that are not conveyed to people my age a lot. That’s why I started the movement of Team One Love at OSU.
With the help of the program team, I brought Team One Love to my campus. I have been lucky enough to function as the campus leader for One Love at OSU. Recently, with the help of some friends, I was able to make One Love an official club at OSU where I function as president. I could not have made it an official club without the help of my friends. They have been incredibly supportive and have helped with everything from writing up emails to helping me cut purple ribbons in my dorm room. I started holding workshops for Alpha Chi Omega, Phi Tau, my resident hall, and one for the OSU Dance Department with my good friend Mason!
Last year, I decided I wanted to channel my dance abilities to raise awareness about toxic relationships. Being a dance (and neuroscience) major, I decided to choreograph a dance and create a film. I enlisted the help of two of my best friends in the dance department, Amanda and Mason, to help make the video. They are so talented and passionate, so I was thrilled when they happily agreed. The dance film was Mason’s first introduction to One Love. He was very enthusiastic about making the film because of a past relationship that he was in that was emotionally abusive. Learning the warning signs of relationship violence opened his eyes and made him realize how dangerous his situation was. Mason hoped to raise awareness of this issue for his friends, family, and peers so that they could gain the knowledge that he had acquired through One Love.
I chose Hozier’s “Work Song” to choreograph the dance to. There are a lot of interpretations online of what this song is about, but the lyrics and the music automatically made me think of the manipulation and the fear I experienced in my past relationship as well as what Paige experiences in Escalation. I really used a lot of research to do justice to victims of relationship violence in my dance choreography. I watched Escalation and read journals from myself and others that were written reflecting back on abusive relationships. I tried to emulate the main aspects of abusive relationships in my choreography: fear, control, hopelessness, jealousy, aggressiveness, one partner feeling like they can’t live without the other, coercion, anger, smothering and the cycle of trying to break free only to return to the abuser. I’m really happy with the way the video turned out. It couldn’t have happened without Mason (performer and video editor) Amanda (performer), Baylee (videographer), and Niasha (lighting designer) - all OSU dance majors! I think making the video was also really helpful for me.
I think creating something out of what I experienced really made me feel empowered and like I could move on from past. I’d really encourage others to make art out of what they are feeling. It’s actually really helpful.
So far this year, in addition to workshops, Team One Love at OSU has made and distributed about 500 purple ribbons for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We’ve also written chalk messages on The Oval, the main lawn at OSU, to get people to sign up on One Love’s website. We’ve held workshops in resident halls and co-hosted an event with the senior honor society, Mortar Board. At the event, author Denise Kontras spoke about her book From Hurting to Healing and discussed the topic of campus sexual violence and dating violence. After her speech, we held Escalation Workshop for all the students who attended.
Mason has held workshops for dancers at OSU that combine the fundamentals of One Love’s Escalation Workshop with his unique choreographic voice. He wants students on campus to know that there are fun and accessible resources that aren’t as intimidating as counseling that can provide information about relationship violence. The knowledge that he’s gained from becoming a One Love Workshop facilitator has completely changed his perspective on relationships for the better. It has also helped him deepen his non-intimate relationships with friends and family. Like my dance film, Mason also used dance as channel for expression and to raise awareness about relationship abuse. He choreographed a very beautiful dance to "Die Trying" by MICHL.
While One Love at OSU is new, the people in the club are so passionate. I know it is going places. We believe so much in One Love’s mission.
I just love One Love. I could not be more thankful for what they do. I’m so glad I found it.