Campaign to support Only Love movement
Campaign promotes ‘community
Published: Monday, February 6, 2012
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 14:02
As Valentine's Day draws near, Point Park University's Office of Campus Life prepares to host the "Only Love" project on Feb. 13, making this the second year Point Park will promote all forms of love through the campaign.
Students and staff alike are invited to wear white shirts and write the words "only love" somewhere on them to take a picture for the project. Last year, some pictures were used to create a poster that was then shown at the Pioneer Experience over the summer.
The idea of doing this campaign at Point Park came from Campus Life's assistant community director Deana Kalcich. Kalcich is an Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate student. It was at IUP last year where a classmate first introduced her to the idea.
"He opened up this project to other universities ... [but I] brought it to Point Park. I organize it and recruit student volunteers to be a part of it," Kalcich said on Thursday night in the Campus Life office.
Kalcich also shares that the program began in response to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community bullying and suicides that took place just last year . Her IUP classmate started "Only Love" as a non-profit organization that promotes love instead of hate.
According to Kalcich, her classmate then opened up the project to other universities through the graduate program, which works with many institutions across western Pennsylvania.
In addition to IUP and Point Park, the "Only Love" campaign has reached Bridgewater State University, Missouri Western State University and the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh.
Although these institutions host "Only Love" campaigns separately, they all work together to spread the common goal of love over hate.
" The goal of ‘Only Love' is to say, ‘this is our campus culture. We only want to speak love here. We don't want hate in our community," Kalcich said.
Although the project came about as a response to bullying in a certain community, "Only Love" is about promoting a sense of a fully inclusive community, according to Kalcich.
Senior history major Michael Potoczny will be helping out this year as a photographer and spreading awareness around campus of the event. Potoczny explains the essence of community that the campaign aims to focus on.
"I think it's awesome because it's not something only for the gay community. It's about everyone loving each other or respecting each other," Potoczny said on Saturday afternoon. "It's not just for one community. It's about creating respect for everyone."
This year, the pictures for the campaign will be taken in Lawrence Hall on the second floor outside of the cafe. Students and faculty alike can register the day of the event which will allow the future use of their photos. If a person does not have a white shirt, which is part of the "Only Love" brand, one will be provided for them. Then, using paints and any other supplies available, participants write the words "Only Love" somewhere visible on their bodies. Props are also welcome for the photo shoots.
Kalcich also mentions what she liked about having the project on campus last year.
"We had other faculty come; we had other staff members. This is a really community-wide thing. It doesn't end up just being the students and I think that's a really positive thing for Point Park," Kalcich said.
Sophomore musical theater major Linda Kanyarusoke was one of those student participants last year.
"Last year was really awesome. I didn't know about it until the day of. I just stopped by the cafe and put on a white shirt. It's a nice thing to do to represent everyone: respect for everyone. It brought us all together," Kanyarusoke said over the phone on Saturday afternoon.
To find out more about the "Only Love" campaign, to see other photos or to check out student testimonials check out their website at www.theonlyloveproject.tk/. Also, find them on Facebook by typing in "Only Love Campaign."