March was Women’s History Month and many VWU organizations hosted a number of events to celebrate. From social media pages posting famous women in history of various fields to guest speakers and activity nights, most departments on campus found a way to commemorate women in history while still adhering to social distancing protocols.
Throughout the month, Hofheimer Library was home to the Women’s Empowerment Month Book Display on the first floor to showcase important women in literature.
Student Activities’ Off the Hook, @marlinsoffthehook on Instagram, posted information on noteworthy women on their page almost daily throughout the month, offering students who interacted with the posts the opportunity to be entered in a feminist literature raffle. Tara Westover’s “Educated” and Roxanne Gay’s “Bad Feminist” were among the potential prizes.
Student Activities also hosted a poetry contest, encouraging students to submit poems about how a woman has influenced them, promising prizes for the top three poems.
Similarly, the psychology department’s Instagram page posted daily pictures and biographies of important women in the history of psychology. The last three days of March, the page brought things “close to home” by highlighting Dr. Gabriela Martorell and Dr. Taryn Myers of our own psychology department, followed by a recognition of recent alumnae as “the future of #womeninpsychology.”
Phenomenal Women VWU and the Lighthouse posted about the various events they would be hosting throughout the month. Among Phenomenal Women’s events were a friendship workshop and a poetry slam. Phenomenal Women also posted information about important women in history throughout the month. The Lighthouse and Wesleyan Engaged hosted a variety of virtual events throughout the month, and sent out weekly emails to feature said events. Events the departments hosted included a Women’s Empowerment Night on March 31, Salary Negotiation for Women on March 24, and Being a Woman Abroad panel on March 23.
Marlin Ministries also hosted events throughout the month, their most notable being the Woman at the Well evening. Junior Brooke Erickson organized Marlin Ministries’ Weekly Watch Party, and in honor of Women’s History Month showed an episode of “The Chosen” in which Jesus interacts with the woman at the well and explains all the ways women are empowered by Christ.
She also runs a group called Women of God, which meets every Monday at 7:30 PM in Greer 155 and Google Meet in hybrid format, and she encourages any and all women who want to participate to attend meetings.
Chaplain Marie Porter expressed that this showing was very emotional for the women who attended and even helped her feel empowered. She stated that VWU is full of powerful women who help uplift others to make campus a more caring and accepting environment.
“It’s wonderful to see the women students actually taking an active role in their college,” Porter said.
Thinking back on her experiences with the women and gender studies department, senior Jessica Gurley agreed with Porter’s view of the women on campus.
“I can only hope that the support and empowerment I feel from the women I meet outside of Virginia Wesleyan are as strong and powerful as what I feel and see here,” Gurley said.
By Will Farkas