The JMU School of Communication Studies and the Relationships, Love, Happiness Project will hold the 2018 Love Talk Summit on April 17th. This event will educate students, faculty, and community members about the inner workings of romantic relationships through panel discussions with experts, student-created mini-documentaries, and other presentations relevant to achieving happy, healthy romantic bonds with others.

Students who took Dr. Rosier’s SCOM 314: Communication in Romantic Relationships class last semester worked hard to create research-based documentaries that will be shown as part of the event. I had a chance to speak with a few of the filmmakers about their documentaries, their experiences in Dr. Rosier’s class, and their feelings leading up to the summit.

Susie Patrick and Cynthia Coleman created Another One Cleans the Dust: Pre-Marital Conversations about the Division of Household Labor. Their documentary focuses on the importance of having conversations about the division of household duties prior to marriage, and explores how expectations and roles can evolve throughout a marriage.

Cynthia enjoyed the real-world application of Dr. Rosier’s class, as she pointed out, everyone is part of different relationships throughout various times in their lives. Susie found the topic of the class and the summit to be especially relevant for busy college students, who may sometimes find it difficult to navigate romantic relationships. Both students believe the summit will be a great opportunity for students to leave pre-conceived notions at the door, and dive in and learn from all the speakers have to offer. They included that Dr. Rosier creates a very comfortable, supportive environment in her classroom, and they expect it to be the same at the summit.

I also spoke with Amanda Meyers, who co-created the documentary Two Words, Eight Letters: The Struggle of Saying “I Love You”. She noted that Dr. Rosier’s SCOM 314 class changed her perspective on love and relationships. She thought their class discussion of the five love languages was interesting, specifically learning about all the different ways someone may show their love for their partner without verbally saying it.

Amanda is excited for participants to get to see all the documentaries, since such a wide array of topics were covered. Between the mini-films and panelists, she believes students will take away at least one thing from the event that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Sarah Koth and Jenna Schneider created the documentary Finding Us in Jealousy, which focuses on how couples deal with jealousy within their relationships by understanding what jealousy is, where it comes from, and how different people cope with it. The coolest thing they encountered during the process of creating their documentary was when Sarah got to interview Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages. She explained that he “was a very prominent figure” as she learned about relationships growing up, so the chance to learn more from him was exciting.

Katie Sweeney, who co-created For Better or Worse: Arguments and Marriage, wants viewers of her documentary to come away from the screening with the notion that relationships aren’t perfect, and that conflict is normal, expected, and even healthy. She found it interesting that when couples were interviewed individually, both husband and wife said the same thing when asked what they argued about most.

All the filmmakers I interviewed spoke very highly of Dr. Rosier and recommended her SCOM 314 class to any interested students. They are excited about everything that will be offered at the summit, and hope all students who are available will attend!

This year’s summit will be held on Tuesday, April 17th from 9am – 3:15pm in SSC 1075. All are encouraged to attend (it’s free!).  If you can’t make it, feel free to tune in on Facebook to view live streams of each session. See the day’s full schedule below:

9:00am – 11:00am Documentaries and Donuts

Screening of 6 mini-documentaries about romantic relationships. Films were created by JMU students taking SCOM 314: Communication in Romantic Relationships.

11:00am – 12:15pm Expert Love Talks

Watch three short, powerful talks about romantic relationships given by local relationship experts.

12:30pm – 1:45pm Q&A Luncheon

Eat lunch and ask questions with the relationship experts speaking throughout the day. Space is limited!

2:00pm – 3:15pm Couples Panel

This panel features couples who have been together for many years. Listen to them talk about relationships and ask your burning questions.

Will you be attending the Love Talk Summit? Let us know what you’re most excited about in the comments!

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