Uplifting women at SRU

Slippery Rock celebrates Women's History Month

Published by Kayla Raynak, Date: March 7, 2024

March is Women’s History Month and SRU has various events occurring these upcoming weeks to celebrate. Women still face unfairness and gender discrimination in our world today, so this gives people the opportunity to take time to focus on the history of women and what is happening in our world today.

Women’s History Month began in 1970s to educate students, but it wasn’t until 1980s that March became the official month according to National Women’s History Alliance.

Throughout the month, different organizations are working together to plan events and activities for students.

The Recognizing Women’s Project was the first event of the month. The project was a performance hosted by the SRU Department of Dance, with two shows held March 1 and 2.

This project was created by Nathan Trice and has been performed in various places around the country for many years. The pieces represent all the women in his life and their stories while showing the struggles women face.

“I feel that Women’s History Month is so important and recognizing all of the contributions throughout history that women have made and just to celebrate women throughout history,” Meghan Parisi, a junior dance and theater studies major, said. “I think it’s so important that we keep doing that on campus and in the world.”

This was the first time this performance was held at SRU.

“It really gave me such an understanding of the pieces and like, the story and the emotions behind them and I really feel like it connected to me as a woman,” Parisi said.

A new campus event occurred in celebration of the month this past week.

Arabic Club and The Middle East Studies Center hosted an event called MENA Women Festival on March 5 during common hour in the SSC Ballroom.

The organizations worked together to recognize International Women’s Day. The event had a large turnout.

“The idea was to highlight Middle Eastern women…and North African as well,” Salwa Vandegrift, the advisor for the Arabic Club, said.

The event had different activities to teach students about the culture, including henna, traditional clothing for individuals to see or try on, a photo booth, and various different food and desserts for students to try.

There were 3 different types of desserts called Baklava, Maamoul and Barrazik.

“We found this is a perfect opportunity to celebrate Women’s International Day with this event,” Vandegrift said.

“My favorite part was just to see everyone happy there. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was enjoying themselves,” she said.

The organizations plan to continue hosting the event every year.

“There are women who are working, there women who are students, there are moms, there are everything. Every kind of aspect of life, woman are able to engage and succeed in too. So, we just wanted to bring that to everyone’s attention,” Vandegrift said. “Have a bit of spotlight on that part of Arab culture: that women are not as you think they are.”

The Women’s Center has a full calendar with events that they teamed up with other organizations to create.

The organization hosts events throughout the year to recognize women. Last month, they hosted an event for “Galentine’s Day,” an event where over 200 participants came.

“When we look at Slippery Rocks population of students, female identifying individuals outnumber their other gendered counterparts by approximately 1500 students,” Jarod Piccioli a graduate student that works with the Office of Inclusive Excellence focusing on the Women’s Center and Pride Center.

“So the population says that in itself that we need to make sure that we are recognizing and supporting our female identifying and woman identifying individuals,” Piccioli said “Also, promoting the idea of being female-and-women-allied and making sure that we’re putting in effort to really uplift and empower women.”

The largest event the organization is hosting is called EmpowHER, InspiHER, LeadHER Womentoring Summit. This has been going on for the entire academic year.

It is an event where alumni come in to speak about what they do and gives students the opportunity to talk to successful women.

Some of the other events that the Women’s Center is hosting includes Project Period, which provides feminine products to those might need them on campus.

There is also a FEM Fitness Week including Yoga and RockSpin classes, among a variety of other campus events.

The Women’s Center is grateful for all of the collaborators and staff involved.


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