Truman State University’s Student Government has coordinated several events to educate and celebrate Women’s History Month for March.
Truman’s Student Government has planned events for the month including “Women’s Empowerment Slam Poetry,” a celebration of femininity which occurred March 3. All involved were free to either read poetry of their own, present poems by other poets or partake in an audience discussion analyzing the poetry.
“The night took on a therapeutic theme, and everyone seemed to relate to what others were saying,” slam poetry attendee Cecilia Stokes said. “It just seemed like it was an outlet for other people. Everyone recognized it and encouraged it. It was nice.”
Student Government Secretary Alexis Cook said during Women’s History Month and Black History Month, Student Government works very closely with other clubs and organizations to create events that are not only fun and interactive, but respectful and effective.
“We are hosting an inclusion and diversity workshop that we planned with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion,” said Cook. “The CDI has student workers that are trained to effectively teach diverse and inclusive practices.”
Cook said the workshop is designated for organizations to learn and practice implementing these actions.
Another club that Student Government works closely with is TruSisters, a club that empowers Black and women of color on campus and provides a safe space to speak out and interact with other women of color on campus.
On April 11, TruSisters and Student Government are hosting a women’s history month dinner. Cook said Student Government is providing support to them. One way they do that is by giving the club leftover money from the Student Government budget.
“I view Women’s History Month as a celebration of where women are at now compared to where we were at then. It’s a celebration of where we are. However, I also view it as an opportunity for education,” Cook said. “It’s close to how I viewed Black History Month. A time where we can talk about these issues and not be labeled as obsessed with our inequality.”
Cook acknowledges there are a plethora of men’s issues that should be addressed, however the stigma behind women’s struggles seems to be criticized disproportionately. These events are important in giving women a space to talk, and other people can use the space to listen and learn.
“It’s a moment for women to share their stories, [for] women to share their experiences.” Cook said.