By: Albert Ivory, Staff Writer
File photo by Caroline Cunninghamn/ The Towerlight
The Feminist Collective, an on-campus organization which focuses on unpacking myths about feminism and examines women’s empowerment and leadership, is relaunching after being inactive for the past two years.
Brenda Oduola, a graduate assistant for the Center for Student Diversity’s Women’s Resources Department, and CSD Associate Director for Student Diversity and Development Mahoor Ahmed hosted an interest meeting on March 14 to brainstorm and restart the program.
Ahmed said that one of the reasons they wanted to have the interest meeting was to gauge how the club plans to grow and prosper.
“The idea was that the other people who were involved hadn’t stepped up to take on leadership roles in order for the group to be a formal student organization,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed added that in previous years, the Feminist Collective had weekly meetings which turned into biweekly meetings and later turned into monthly meetings. The group also hosted presentations, Feminism 101 workshops for the general public, fundraisers and other events.
During some meetings, members would find an article or a book related to feminism and have a discussion based on the source.
One of the biggest events the Feminist Collective put together in the past was a production of “The Vagina Monologues.”
This year’s performance of “The Vagina Monologues” was held on March 9 and 10, and it was sponsored by the CSD and Office of Student Activities. All proceeds went to the House of Ruth Maryland.
The Feminist Collective also helped to host “Take Back the Night,” a collaboration with the Sexual Assault Peer Educators (SAPE) to bring awareness to sexual assault.
According to Oduola, everyone in the collective has a free range on what they want to plan and the issues that members feel should be discussed.
“We just want to make sure that there’s a presence on campus with a feminist perspective, which we think is something we have been lacking for the last couple of years,” Oduola said.
Around the room of the meeting were boards that had questions asking for suggestions about discussions for future meetings. Answers included the poverty that women experience, feminist literature, womanism, intersectional feminism and many other topics.
Anyone who is interested in a leadership position or general body membership can contact Ahmed via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Don’t think you have to be a top-notch leader or have everything in place to take on a role,” Oduola said. “You learn as you go and you’ll learn as you start doing more meetings and having more programs…. Take that leap of faith … and we’re here as resources for you also.”
Junior women’s and gender studies major Drew Jefferson is excited for the club to start up again.
“I’m a transfer student, so I’ve been a part of the feminist collective for a few years at my previous college,” Jefferson said. “So I’m definitely familiar with being a part of one and I’m really excited to see it going. I’m interested in maybe doing a leadership position and focusing on mental health as well as disabled women and transwomen.”