Elizabeth Gruber, chair of the HOPE advisory board, welcomes guests to a reception celebrating the opening of LHU's HOPE Center.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - On February 17, members of the Lock Haven University community gathered for a reception to celebrate the February 18 opening of the Haven Outreach Program for Empowerment (HOPE) Center at East Campus G204. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The HOPE Center serves the entire Lock Haven University campus community by hosting events such as poetry readings, lectures, film screenings, and brown-bag discussions of issues pertaining to gender and social equity. The professionals at the center also serve as a resource, and a conduit to resources, for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, or intimate-partner violence. Laurie Cannady, a member of the HOPE advisory board, described the HOPE Center as “a multipurpose center, dedicated to creating a safe environment on campus and encouraging positive dialogues between male and female students on campus.”
At the opening, LHU’s Distinguished Gentlemen presented a banner to be displayed at the center. Distinguished Gentlemen is an LHU student group which works to prepare young men for success. The banner reads “These hands don't harm” and bears the handprints of the members of Distinguished Gentlemen. Cannady commented, “I think it’s very powerful that male students, not just female students, showed their concern for the safety of all students and for the empowerment of women.”
Other highlights of the opening included a performance by Lyrically Speaking, a spoken-word group at LHU. Lyrically Speaking members Bethany Garrett, Stephanie Reynolds, John (Mike) Rinard and Felix Noy performed two original poems on domestic violence and female empowerment. Senior Alice Alexandrescu presented her “Life” series artwork and seniors Mike Rinard and Noy performed music selected to reflect the hopeful and celebratory tone of the event.
The HOPE advisory board consists of Elizabeth Gruber, assistant professor of English, chair; Kimberly Alexander, associate professor, department of sociology, anthropology, social work, criminal justice and geography; Nicole Burkholder-Mosco, assistant professor of English; Laurie Cannady, assistant professor of English; Gayatri Devi, assistant professor of English; Tara Mitchell, assistant professor of psychology and Lisette Schi, assistant professor of English.
Speaking for the entire advisory board, Gruber said, “We are excited about opening the HOPE Center, which demonstrates LHU’s commitment to the health, safety and welfare of all of our students.”