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Coalition for Women Students celebrates women’s month

Group will host several events in March to promote women unity

Annika+Krol+participates+in+the+Take+Back+the+Night+march+in+October%2C+which+was+organized+to+raise+awareness+of+sexual+assault+for+both+men+and+women.
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Coalition for Women Students celebrates women’s month

Annika Krol participates in the Take Back the Night march in October, which was organized to raise awareness of sexual assault for both men and women.

Annika Krol participates in the Take Back the Night march in October, which was organized to raise awareness of sexual assault for both men and women.

Courtesy of Coalition for Women Students at WSU

Annika Krol participates in the Take Back the Night march in October, which was organized to raise awareness of sexual assault for both men and women.

Courtesy of Coalition for Women Students at WSU

Courtesy of Coalition for Women Students at WSU

Annika Krol participates in the Take Back the Night march in October, which was organized to raise awareness of sexual assault for both men and women.

AUDREY HUDDLESTON, Evergreen reporter

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In 1912, students created an organization meant to represent a unified vision for women at WSU. Originally called the Association for Women Students, the name changed in 1993 in order to represent the different student groups involved.

Since then, the Coalition for Women Students has developed into a sprawling campus organization, which now includes six other campus groups.

According to the coalition’s website, the Association for Pacific and Asian Women, Black Women’s Caucus, Men for Social Change, Mujeres Unidas, the Native American Women’s Association and the Young Women’s Christian Association of WSU make up the coalition. They also financially support the Women’s Transit Program and the Leadership Summer Institute.

Coalition Chair Elsie Cree, a senior majoring in elementary education, said she wanted her current position before even attending WSU, though she’ll have to relinquish it in May when someone else is elected.

Cree said the coalition chair changes every year. That makes it hard for the chairs to know what they should be doing, but she tries to make what she does for the coalition more personal. She said she was drawn to WSU because it has a Native American Women’s Association, which she said isn’t common.

“It creates a space for Native American women, specifically here at WSU,” Cree said. “I only knew other Natives [growing up] and I was nervous going into higher education because I didn’t know if I could find that somewhere.”

March has been National Women’s History Month since 1987, so Cree and the six organizations that make up the coalition have been busy planning and producing events. Cree said the events began on Feb. 26 and will continue over the next few weeks.

Each organization is responsible for planning their own events, Cree said, and she lets people choose what they want to do.

Cree said last week the YWCA hosted an event called “Her Story,” during which they brought in speakers meant to empower women. The Native American Women’s Association held a talking circle to help encourage self-care. Cree said last Friday the Association for Pacific and Asian Women had an event for women in higher education.

“[The coalition] does target a lot of women of color,” Cree said. “I [think] they often feel like they’re not supported in higher education.”

Cree said the Native American Women’s Association and the Black Women’s Caucus are having a women of color in higher education workshop, where women will be encouraged to speak to each other about ongoing issues. Cree said Mujeres Unidas is showing the movie Dolores from 6-8 p.m. March 8th in Butch’s Den.

This week, Men for Social Change are arranging a feminine product drive, Cree said. The coalition is tabling today, Wednesday and Thursday in the CUB to advertise the upcoming International Women’s Day events.

At the tabling there will be a bulletin board with the words “I am woman.” Cree said she hopes everyone will take a Polaroid photo in front of the board and write what they think is powerful about being a woman.

According to the coalition’s website, other events celebrating March will include Women’s Safety on Campus, a talk given by Administrative Sergeant Dawn Daniels from 4-5 p.m. Tuesday in the International Student Center, Room L46.  There will also be the Women’s Art Show: Press for Progress, which will display local art from noon-3 p.m. Thursday in the Women’s Center on the ground floor of Wilson-Short Hall.

The Coalition for Women Students is a registered student organization and is located in the Women’s Resource Center.

 

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