Oasis Night serves up volleyball for a cause

The Women’s Studies program held its annual Oasis Night on Oct. 25 to benefit the women and children who seek help at the Oasis Women’s Shelter in Alton.

Oasis Night at the Vadalabene Center gave students and faculty an opportunity to give back.

The event was coordinated with the Cougar volleyball game which took place at 7 p.m. in the Vadalabene Center. Participants had been asked to bring items and/or monetary donations for free admission to the game.

Linda Markowitz, chair of Women’s Studies and professor of sociology and criminal justice studies, was one of the event’s key organizers. Markowitz said that although the event did not experience as much participation as it did last year, she was happy with the enthusiasm of those who supported the cause.

“A lot of the people who came to the volleyball game didn’t know about the event, but, when we told them about it, they were willing to participate and donate some money which was great,” said Markowitz.

Markowitz also noted that many people donated goods at SIUE’s Counseling Center before the game and that donations were being accepted for the entire month of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For many students and faculty at SIUE, domestic violence is a cause near to their hearts. According to statistics cited by the Commission on Domestic Violence, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner in the United States every year.

The goal of Oasis Night, then, is not only to help women at the Oasis Women’s Shelter but to also make students and faculty at SIUE aware of the severity of domestic violence and the potential that they have to help others—and perhaps themselves—in such situations.

“What we’re trying to do every year is bring awareness to domestic violence but also to provide women (at the shelter) with the goods that they might need if they want to move out,” explained Markowitz. “This year we received diapers, shampoo, soap, sponges, cleaning utensils for kitchens… things like that.”

Linda Markowitz, professor of sociology and criminal justice studies and chair of the women's studies program, is an organizer of Oasis Night.

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