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College recognizes Women’s Appreciation

Sarah Swiderski | Sunday, February 12, 2012

Women’s Appreciation Week at Saint Mary’s College kicks off today with a variety of events aimed to spread awareness of issues many women encounter on a daily basis.

“[This week approaches] women’s issues from several different perspectives because feminism comes in many different forms,” Jean Osberger, co-chair of Women’s Appreciation Week, said.

The week, hosted by the Student Diversity Board (SDB), begins with a supplies drive for St. Margaret’s House, a women’s day center in South Bend.

The drive will collect non-perishable food items, in-season women’s clothing (especially in sizes large and extra large), toiletries (in regular and travel sizes), feminine hygiene products and baby items. Donations will be collected through Friday in collection boxes located in every residence hall.

“St. Margaret’s is a safe haven for women who are struggling in various ways in life,” SDB Representative Anabel Castaneda said. “It’s really great when we, as students, can help make another woman’s life a little easier. By helping them in any way possible, we are living out the teachings of Saint Mary’s.”

Tonight, SDB will also show the film “Miss Representation” in Vander Vennet at 7:30 p.m. Castaneda said the film portrays sexism in the media.

“This video really helps viewers put the role of females in the media into a bigger perspective,” she said. “The movie reflects on politicians, news anchors, and a lot of big names. It talks about how image is more the deciding factor in creating female celebrities rather than the news they tell or the roles they play. There should be no depth to how people see women. The film really focuses on looking at females as strong, capable people.”

On Thursday, Saint Mary’s will host the International Student Women’s Issues Panel in the Warner Conference Room at 7:30 p.m. The panel will feature Saint Mary’s students from around the globe including representatives of Tanzania, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Australia and China. The students will discuss the daily struggles women in their home countries face.

Osberger said the aim of the panel is to change misconceptions about the countries and address challenging issues in each nation.

The week concludes on Friday with “Girl-Power Pump-up Music” in the Noble Family Dining Hall.

Osberger said she encourages all students to come to this week’s events.

“[The week] will be fun and informative,” she said. “[Students will] learn something new and the events will redefine what feminism is.”

Castaneda said she hopes the events will broaden student perspective.

“I really hope that students will be able to see what other opportunities there are to fight the stereotypes put against women,” she said. “They will be able to see what they can do, as an individual, to help better the world as a whole. One small action can then lead bigger movements.”