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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Life + Arts

Fresh start for campus feminists

UH’s Student Feminist Organization held its first meeting Monday at the University Center to meet potential members, elect a new officer and brainstorm ideas on how to make a difference on campus

Sarah Wood, a political science senior and the SFO president, said its purpose was to plan what to do on campus this semester and to get feedback from its members.

“One of our fans brought to our attention on Facebook a documentary called ‘Girl Rising,’” said Laila Khalili. a psychology junior and SFO vice president.

Members suggested showing documentaries for free on campus. Khris Schneider, a sociology and business senior and newly-elected outreach coordinator, suggested collaborating with Emerging Houston Leaders while Wood suggested a collaboration with the Houston Area Women’s Center and a large domestic violence awareness event in late April.

Although the Women’s Resource Center sponsored Take Back the Night, a walk and candlelight vigil promoting awareness about domestic violence, it was moved to the fall semester last year.

“Traditionally, the Take Back the Night walk is in April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,” said Beverly McPhail, WRC director. “However, most sexual assaults on campus occur in the fall when new, vulnerable women arrive for their first semester.”

Because of this change, Wood wants to have an SFO event in the available space by moving the walk to the fall semester.

“This is important. This doesn’t just happen when we get older,” Wood said. “It’s happening right now.”

“I never had an ‘A-ha moment’ like, ‘Now I’m a feminist,’” said Kiernan Cobb, biology sophomore and SFO secretary. “It was a bunch of small things.”

Schneider expressed a similar sentiment when he said he was surprised upon reaching college and discovering sexism still exists.

The plan this semester is to create awareness, have themed discussions, do more outreach and be more active, Wood says.

“Last semester, we had more discussions,” Khalili said. “This semester we want more of a balance between discussions and activism.”

“I would come back because this was awesome,” said Summer Robinson, an undeclared freshman.

SFO meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Monday at the Women’s Resource Center, Room 279A in the UC.

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