DTR Week tells Biola students “love matters”

DTR Week opened Monday morning in Chase Gymnasium with a message by Tim Muehlhoff, and Tuesday and Wednesday continued with evening seminars highlighting the ups and downs of romantic and non-romantic relationships.


Job Ang

Students received DTR-themed T-shirts on Monday morning at the kickoff of DTR Week. The week is dedicated to relationship advice, mingling with singles and seminars on dating in college. | Job Ang/THE CHIMES

Christine Chan, Writer

Define The Relationship Week continued Wednesday night with a seminar focused on the pain of relationships in Calvary Chapel.

Student Development and the marketing department partnered together to create DTR Week, a five day awareness event held to coincide with Valentine’s Day, which included a chapel, three evening seminars and social events meant to help foster healthy relationships.

Women host Q&A on Wednesday

Wednesday night’s seminar at Calvary Chapel had two satellite locations in Rose Hall. Speakers Judy Tenelshof, Keith Edwards, Kristen White and Kathleen Doyle spoke on pain, joy and grief within relationships, as well as warning signs of an abusive relationship. The on-stage panel also tackled questions on celibacy and staying friends after a breakup in the question and answer session.

Tuesday’s event draws crowd

According to Victoria Smith, the associate director for University Communications and Marketing, approximately 700 students showed up for Tuesday’s “Dating 101” seminar. Students at Tuesday night’s 8 p.m. kickoff seminar, titled “Dating 101” held in Calvary Chapel, overflowed into the aisles, with many others standing along the walls. Smith introduced the seminar, which featured married couples Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff, Erik and Donna Thoennes and Christopher and Alisa Grace in an informal, panel-style talk.

Christopher Grace offered advice against the mainstream media perception of love. The majority of the night focused on the question and answer session with panelists responding to questions about topics such as girls asking guys out and the historical role of marriage.

Monday’s chapel impresses students

Communications professor Tim Muehlhoff spoke on effective relational communication at Monday morning’s chapel. Muehlhoff, who authored “Marriage Forecasting: Changing the Climate of your Relationship One Conversation at a Time,” drew laughs from students at his pop culture examples — including a song clip by Bruno Mars — used to illustrate expectations, acknowledgment, trust and commitment in relationships.

Senior Scott Porter was optimistic after hearing Muehlhoff’s talk.

“I was impressed,” he said. “[The chapel] was really well done. I have a girlfriend, so a lot of it’s really applicable.”

Porter, who was gluing a ribbon onto the Valentine’s Day card he was making at the arts and crafts table during Biola’s first-ever Love Fest, said the free cupcakes at the fair attracted him to the event.

Love Fest contains many events

The Love Fest Valentine’s Day Fair, which began at 10 a.m. and ran for four hours between the Student Union Building and the mailboxes, boasted a free photo booth with costume props for participants to dress up, along with a Love Doctor booth offering relational advice.

It also included a stand selling themed gifts and a registration table for DTR 2.0 weekend, a seminar that will be held in early March for married, engaged and seriously dating couples.

The “Kiss An iPod” contest, held by the Biola Computer Store, also ran during the Love Fest.

Harry Edwards, manager of the Biola Bookstore, said that the number of contestants was smaller than that of last year. He hoped the next contest might be held when classes are not in session.

Additional events involve students

Two other events were held on Monday: a lunch featuring Muehlhoff for Biola faculty to talk about healthy relationships and a free evening showing of Will Smith’s 2005 romantic comedy, “Hitch.” The movie showing, which included free refreshments, was advertised as a fun and free Valentine’s Day celebration. However, the turnout for the film at Calvary Chapel was smaller than Student Development Events volunteers expected, though intern, senior Sarah Sadler, noted that a number of students left early due to the lateness of the hour.

“The goal [of the week] was to focus on ways to relate to those around us,” Dean of Students Danny Paschall said as he introduced the week in Monday’s chapel.

Smith said the idea behind the week’s events was to help create balance between light-hearted fun and the serious topics discussed by speakers.

“It’s this kind of middle education where we’re realizing we have a real opportunity to give students resources to be able to grapple with some of these things that are at the forefront of their minds,” Smith said. “We also wanted it to be kind of fun. That’s why we called it ‘DTR Week.’ We wanted it to be kind of tongue-in-cheek. It’s all part of life at Biola.”

Freshman Sarah Weitzman, who helped with the weeks’ events, said that a lot of people seemed skeptical, but she believed DTR events were fun and had good information.

“I hope that at the end of the week, people will have had fun,” Wietzman said.

DTR Week to continue Thursday

“Love Matters: DTR Week” is sponsored by Student Development and has one last evening seminar scheduled for Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., which will cover the topic of sex. The location of the concluding seminar has been moved to Sutherland Auditorium in anticipation of a large turnout.

The final DTR event, “Boy Meets Girl: Snow on McNally,” has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Feb. 23, due to rainy weather. Hot cocoa and fresh kettle corn will be sold at the event for $1.

On Friday, students are requested to check their mailboxes for a postcard with relational tips, as well as information on how to provide feedback and ideas for future awareness events.

The next awareness week is planned for early April, aimed toward battling addiction.

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