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Saint Mary’s College celebrates women

Liz O'Donnell | Monday, February 23, 2009

Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB) is sponsoring Women’s Appreciation Week, a celebration of “all ways in which women make a difference in the world,” said senior Leslie Lau, the chair of the event.

Lau, along with co-chair Mara Martinez have been planning events throughout the year that they hope all students at Saint Mary’s will attend.

“We hope that with the variety of events that we have organized we will invite women with different interests to our events,” Lau said.

The events of the week will be kicked off today with an Appreciate Women in Art Exhibit. Lau said that this would give women in the art department a chance to be acknowledged by the rest of the student body.

“As an artist, I knew that the Art Department was having their faculty show and I approached them asking if they were willing to talk about their work and how they were influenced by their gender,” Lau said.

The faculty was extremely accommodating and the SDB hopes that this will be a great way to ensure a large turnout by inviting a new crowd of students, Lau said.

The SDB is hosting the event “Yellow is the Color of Freedom” Tuesday afternoon. The event was inspired by the suffragists and legislators who wore yellow roses to support the passing of the 19th amendment

SDB will be in the Student Atrium handing out yellow roses with quotations by these famous suffragists to students.

“We hope that from these inspirational quotations women will be reminded that we can achieve great things when we all come together under a common cause, to promote the freedom of women and sexual discrimination,” Lau said.

Other events that will occur during the week include a panel on Wednesday that will the presented by four Women’s Studies professors. On Thursday, there is an interactive workshop presented by Terri Russ, the author of “Bi***in’ Bodies.”

Lau said that it was unlikely that they will see a large turnout at all of the events, but said they do expect some of their activities to be extremely popular.

“The reason why I tried to come up with events that vary across the board is to have a larger turnout and to make the week more inclusive,” Lau said. “Everyone on campus has different interests and we hoped that being able to offer a variety of events would make them feel like they are invited to at least one even.”

Women’s Appreciation Week is an annual week of events put on by the SDB, but the members of the board are constantly working to come up with new ideas for activities.

“It is the responsibility of the chair and co-chair of the event, who are new every year, to put their personal touch on the week and bring something new,” Lau said.

The only event carried over from last year’s week is the handing out of roses on Tuesday.

In order to coordinate the activities for the event, Lau said that she tried to address the interests of as many students on campus as possible.

“As an Art and Women’s Studies minor it was important for me to pull in ideas from different departments so I collaborated with about 10 of the professors from both of these departments,” Lau said.

Lau said that the she feels that this week is extremely important to the students of Saint Mary’s, especially because the school is an all-girls college.

“Because Saint Mary’s is an all women’s college, it is important for us to celebrate all the achievements that women have had in the past and how we can address contemporary issues in order to rise above them,” she said.