Women Celebrate Year-round

Mar 222005
Authors: Natasha Grunden

The 3rd Annual Wild Women Have Wit competition will be held Thursday at 7:00pm in Lory Student Center North Ballroom

Women's History Month is interrupted by Spring Break and midterms, leaving some wondering wishing there were more women's programs during March.

"Our Women at Noon programs are focusing on Women's history this month," said Jody Jessup Anger, interim director for the Office of Women's Programs and Studies. "We like to celebrate women throughout the year."

Women at Noon speakers this month have included Eva Kor, who spoke in conjunction with Holocaust Awareness Week and impressionist Wallace Tollette, who gave a presentation about abolitionist Sojourner Truth. Today, Teresa Funke will discuss her upcoming short story collection titled "Dancing in Combat Boots" about the women of World War II from noon to 1 p.m. in Lory Student Center room 230. The month will end with a presentation about women in higher education by Donna Shavlik, who has worked with the American Counsel on Education from noon to 1 p.m. in student center room 228.

The third annual Wild Women Have Wit competition will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. It will focus specifically on the history of women through trivia-type activities, Jessup Anger said.

"There is difficulty with programming in March. Often time students are too busy before Spring Break to really do any programming, and the next week is Spring Break and the students are gone," Jessup Anger said.

Women's History Month also falls in conjunction with Holocaust Awareness Week, Disability Awareness Days and Cesar Chavez Day.

However, while March is Women's History Month, there is a lot more going on in the office of Women's Programs and Studies than promotion of Women's History Month. Not only is Women's Programs and Studies an advocacy office, but it also runs other programs, said Asta K, student coordinator for Office of Women's Programs and Studies. Victims Assistance Team (VAT) and Greeks Against Sexual Assault are two such programs as well as the curriculum section offering a certificate in Women's Studies.

"Women's Studies programs currently have about 100 students who are pursuing academic certification; it has about 500 students who are taking Women's Studies undergraduate core classes and about 1,000 more in supporting classes," Jessup Anger said.

The office promotes its activities and programs through Ram FYI, e-comment, CSU event calendars, fliers and the Women's Programs and Studies Web site, Jessup Anger said.

While Women's History Month may appear to fly under the radar of some students, Will Wooten, president of Black Definition, said it is important to recognize the holidays of different groups.

"Women's History Month is a month to celebrate women, it should be celebrated," Wooten said.

While women today are not recognized as an oppressed group, Asta K said the focus needs to shift from the negatives to the accomplishments women have made over time.

"It's important to recognize contributions of people our society tends to overlook," Asta K said.

Ashley Matthews, a senior sociology major who attended her first Women at Noon series on March 9, did not realize it was Women's History Month. She said the month should have been better promoted so people could understand its significance.

"Our generation doesn't realize to the full extent the struggles of women. We tend to forget our society wasn't always this free," Matthews said.

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