Yesterday, five members of the Women's Studies Organization, and their faculty advisor Dr. Civello, attended the annual SMU Women's Symposium. The theme was "Hit Like a Girl," featuring keynote speaker Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic bronze medal fencer at last year's games in Rio de Janeiro and the first female Muslim to represent the USA at the Olympics. She told the audience that a few years ago she "chose happiness" and that she "tries to be appreciative of every moment."
The students also attended the afternoon session on the "#MeToo" movement, moderated by an SMU student government representative and two SMU counselors. The discussion focused on universities' legal, as well as moral, obligation to report sexual harassment and abuse. They advised teachers and friends of victims to do 3 things: to start by believing them, to know that they are in the driver's seat in this situation, and to check in on them to make sure that they are all right.
The Women's Studies Organization plans to discuss ideas from the symposium at future club meetings and in Dr. Civello's Critical Identities class back on campus. This opportunity comes just a week after the club hosted also hosted a snack food donation drive benefiting the Genesis Women's Shelter. With the help of the student body, they collected and delivered 1,291 snacks to the shelter for the women in need.
It was an incredible experience for these students to be able participate in such a powerful symposium and successful donation drive in correlation with today's International Women's Day celebration. We are so proud of these students who demonstrated the fundamentals of both Community and Service, two of ESD's Founding Tenets in raising awareness and making not only our campus, but our world, a better place. Thank you Eagles!