Fireside chat talks women empowerment

Allison Little, Reporter

Tuesday’s fireside chat discussed the 19th amendment, the #MeToo movement and the importance of women in the political system. The event was a part of the “Chasing the American Dream” series on campus hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism and took place in the University Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. 

Alex Martens, graduate assistant in the Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, who organized the event said that the series was meant to discuss difficult topics with students.

“We launched (the series) last fall to help students talk about difficult issues in a safe and also very knowledgeable place,” Martens said.

Martens said this event in particular was important because of Women’s History and Awareness Month.

Martens also explained the short format of the talks.

“Students like to learn quickly and this format is a great topic and a good choice of event to do that,” Martens said.

Stephanie Anderson, the director of volunteer services at SACIS said that despite the shortness of the event she was inspired by the content. 

“For 30 minutes I felt fired up and I feel like I learned so much,” Anderson said. “I feel like talking about the 19th amendment, and about how women have fought for the last hundred years to vote. That really got me fired up.”

Quin Hoover, a freshman engineering technology major, said the event was informative and expanded the audience’s knowledge of the subjects covered. 

“I thought this event was very good actually,” Hoover said. “It expanded your knowledge on topics you already knew about and just gave you some more information about it.”

Alana McNeely, a freshman human services program administration major, agreed that the event was informative and thought it was inspiring too.

“I think the event was pretty informative,” McNeely said. “It was persuasive, and it actually caught my attention with what’s going on with women in the world.”

Martens said he wazs inspired by the idea of supporting women who are running for public office.

“I think that one of the big topics is finding ways to help support women,” Martens said. “As a person who identifies as a male to support women who are running for office or would run for office, I think that there should be more representation for the female population and so that’s one thing that … I want to be more conscious and supportive of that.”

Anderson said that she was inspired by the last speech, which called for women and men to participate in the political system.

“I think just the call to action at the end I feel like that is what I took the most from,” Anderson said. “I’m in this work every day at SACIS but there’s just so much more that we can do.”

Martens said that the speeches were laid out to put that call to action at the end.

“We always want to start with our first two to three presenters laying out the information about what’s going on, whatever that topic is,” Martens said. “Then we really want that last person to be that inspiration of, ‘Hey these are things you just learned about. You are the current generation, you are the ones who can get things done, go do it.’”

Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]