On Sept. 15, Seton Hill University (SHU) hosted a “Drugs, Alcohol and Nonviolent Sexuality” session led by Bob Hall. Hall’s sessions were mandatory for all freshmen and athletes.
Hall was very easy going and entertaining. He approached the topics in an open and non-judgmental manner. “He was comical and engaging. He was able to connect with the audience and keep their attention while covering heavy topics,” said junior Erica McCarthy.
Hall founded his own company, Learning to Live with Conflict. The company focuses on helping individuals identify, analyze, resolve and learn from conflict. The sessions reflected many of the ideas and thoughts.
Hall spoke about certain ideas and values of our society that have permeated into our judgment and treatment of others. Hall illustrated the connections between violence on a worldwide level and violence on an individual level.
As Hall puts it, violence “is an intervention to affect change.”
According to Hall, the effect of violence is immediate. In the short run, it appears effective. However, in the long run it paves the way for a cycle of violence.
The violence we see and hear about today takes place in an unforgiving environment. Hall compared the environment to the beltway in Washington D.C. He said that a few years ago at a conference he was driving on the beltway where cars reach very high speeds. Just one mistake could lead to peril.
This perilous environment leaves many uneasy about conflict.
Individuals often encounter conflict suddenly. This leads to panic, much like if a fire were to spring up suddenly. The individual reacts quickly and they do not stop to think about where to the fire, or the conflict, came from. Hall presented conflict as an opportunity for learning and growth.
He also said that when individuals are faced with a conflict the most attractive solution is to solve it or get rid of the problem. “Not all problems are solvable. Conflicts always offer opportunity to learn and grown. This is a humble approach to conflict,” said Hall.
Hall’s thoughts on addiction parallel his thoughts on violence. He said that violence silences a voice and addiction silences an internal voice.
Sexual violence worked with the ideas Hall presented flawlessly. He stressed that asking and answering questions is very important. Every society, as Hall pointed out, has recognized the powerful force and drive of sex.
He asked the audience to call out positive outcomes of sex, even comically pointing out the audience he was looking at. Hall also asked for the downsides. Saying that sex has the power to be selfish, it can challenge even those with strong self-control. Therefore the powerful drive that sex has needs to be better understood.
“It was interesting to hear his different view points on how to handle conflict—such as approaching conflict with a positive, humble attitude,” said freshmen Morgan Miller. “It seems like something we could all use in someway.”