During Yards for Yeardley, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, April 23, on the academic quad, SUNY Oswego students, faculty and staff and members of the community will walk to remember and to prevent domestic and dating violence on college campuses and communities.

This is the third year in a row the campus has embraced this program brought to universities by the One Love Foundation.

In 2016, SUNY Oswego was the first school in New York to complete the challenge of reaching one million yards, surpassing the goal with a total of 1.67 million. In 2017, the college reached over 5 million Yards for Yeardley with the help of 150 volunteers and over 1,000 participants.

“What is so incredible is the support from our community,” said Lisa Evaneski, SUNY Oswego Title IX coordinator and event organizer.

Evaneski expressed how proud she was of the Oswego campus and the community and how crucial it is for everyone to be a part of this effort.

“Everybody recognizes that this is important, and we don't want to lose anyone to domestic and dating violence,” said Evaneski. “I think the level of involvement for this event is so amazing and beautiful.”

With the program expanding from 10 to 26 SUNY schools this year, the SUNY system dubbed the effort Around the World for Yeardley. Throughout the month of April, each school will contribute by hosting its own Yards for Yeardley to reach a combined 50 million yards, more than the circumference of the Earth. Each event is in honor of Yeardley Love and those affected in any way by relationship abuse.

“SUNY ‘Yards for Yeardley’ campus events are driven by our students, which is a testament to their commitment to end relationship abuse and protect their fellow students and people in their local communities,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “On behalf of the SUNY family, I am pleased to support this program. My thanks to SUNY Oswego for the yards covered by students, faculty, staff and the community.”

Wide-ranging effort

Two weeks in advance of the 2018 event, nearly 500 participants were already pre-registered to walk, run or roll. The involvement of student organizations, local agencies, athletic teams, resident halls and whole classrooms make the event flourish, Evaneski said, and every year organizers try to keep expanding its visibility for the cause it supports.

Partners come in many roles: This year, the Accounting Society on campus will work to help verify data for the event.

Participants should pre-register for the event for both convenience and a better chance of being a prizewinner, Evaneski said. Students are encouraged to wear apparel that showcases their involvement on campus as well. In case of rain, the event will be relocated to the Marano Campus Center arena.

The online sign up is at tinyurl.com/OzYards18.

One Love Foundation

SUNY Oswego’s Involvement with the One Love Foundation started with the escalation workshop, a film-based program that reveals the warning signs of relationship abuse. The One Love Foundation was created in honor of Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia student who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before graduation.

The existence of the One Love Foundation rests on the realization the death of Yeardley Love could have been prevented if those around her were educated on the signs of an increasingly unhealthy relationship. Yeardley’s mother and sister co-founded the organization in 2010 to bring attention to the reality and dangers of relationship violence.

Yards for Yeardley was created in December 2014 by three student-athletes on the Boston College and University of Virginia women’s lacrosse teams. The event thrives under the support of the One Love Foundation’s efforts to end relationship abuse through education of young people.