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You're sitting around at 2 a.m. with your best friend, halfway through a six pack or a bottle of wine. Where does the conversation inevitably go? Relationships.
Whether it's the hookup you had at the bar last week or it's the ex that you're thinking about six months later, these are the topics we quietly turn to only in the safety of our dorm rooms and our family rooms. They give us some release, and a thought arises: "We should do this more."
Two years ago, The Miami Student asked if Greek life should still have a place on campus. Last year, in response to two recent alcohol related deaths and more than 20 hospitalizations in the weekend following sorority rush, we asked how and why students drank to black out, and what we should do as a community to create a healthier social culture. We spoke with students, health professionals, administrators and concerned city leaders.
This year, we are interested in expanding this dialogue through stories about desire and fulfillment. What do relationships look like today? How comfortable are you in your environment? When and where are conversations being had? In light of the #MeToo movement and recent revelations about the relationship between drinking and sexual violence on college campuses, we realized that, in last year's project, we had just asked the first in a series of larger questions about health, safety, social pressures and wellness on campus. Most students are over-stressed, figuring it out, and managing hundreds of relationships; the question you may hear the most but respond entirely to the least is what we'd like to ask: How are you feeling?
This series will focus on such questions through the stories of Miami students, not administrators or health experts. We are the experts of our own social lives, and as a senior here, I am convinced that we have much to offer one another. I see student storytellers as crucial sources of wisdom, so I am seeking your help. You are the men and women who have questions about dating at Miami. You are the seniors who may have good and bad experiences to share. You are the roommate who heard something crazy in the bathroom, the side-chick of the guy with the girlfriend, the match on Tinder. Moreover, we are one of the first generations of students to experience college with smartphones and the social networks they bring in tow. The rules about how to manage both technologies and the relationships they afford haven't been nailed down. When we talk about our experiences openly, we can provide more clear directions for the students who follow us.
I, along with a group of male and female storytellers, invite you to participate in a new collaborative project, published by The Miami Student. Whether you've told your story to a hundred friends or to no one, we'd like to hear what's on your mind. We can talk about dorm rooms and sex, but also what we learn about relationships from our parents, navigating professional relationships, or even GroupMe in relation to ideas about desire and fulfillment. If you're interested, we can craft and edit a video version of your story together. Unlike our previous news documentary, this project is open to non-traditional means of visual storytelling. It will be a unique collaborative project, with myself and a small team there to serve as guides, mediators, and workers bringing your stories to life.
Your experiences can educate others. We will work hard to bring you a diversity of voices this semester, presented with sensitivity. Please consider joining the conversation, and share your thoughts on the project with The Miami Student.
We are initially seeking pairs and groups of students who have previously or currently been in relationships with one another. If you or someone you know has a story they'd like to share, reach out to us through the module here:
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