BY STEWART COARD – STAFF WRITER
This past Friday, March 9, approximately 250 people marched from Centre’s campus down West Walnut Street and through downtown as a demonstration to bring attention to the issue of women’s rights and the treatment of women in America and on our own campus. The gathering included music and chants to express the frustration felt by Centre’s female students and to urge change.
Senior Devin Baker, who organized the march, said “I feel like there are daily microaggressions experienced by women, and specifically by women with intersectional identities. The hope was that this march would create a visual representation of just how many people experience and/ or know of these issues in our own community, and that it would create a space for women to come together and feel empowered.”
She went on to emphasize the importance of solidarity and intersectionality among women in the movement. “The march wasn’t for one type of woman nor was it for one type of feminism. If we want the march’s legacy to continue to be beneficial every participant must learn that the future is not only female. It is LGBTQ+. It is black. It is brown. It is differently abled. It is undocumented. We will not move forward together until we recognize and validate each of those experiences as well,” she said.
Junior Alexis Becker, president of STAND, also helped organize the march. “We have got to support fifty percent of our population,” she said. “People are tired, so many people are just damn tired of being told that they should keep their story quiet, that they should hide that which makes them women. It is just incredibly annoying to have every part of your life dictated and still be expected to be cheery about it.”
Becker also commented on changes she would like to see on Centre’s campus. “This is a system that can be used to propel women forward— it’s a system that should be used to propel women forward, but at the moment a lot of people are using it in a way that is very outdated” she said in reference to Centre’s Greek Life.
“I would like to see a change in the frats, personally. There are a lot of supporters, but there also seem to be a lot of people who make fun of feminism in frats. You still see things, and you still hear things, and you still hear stories of girls who are disrespected and not protected,” she said. She emphasized that despite her frustrations, she greatly appreciates all the support still received from fraternities and sororities: “I’m really happy there is so much wide support for this event.”
Sophomore Kore Severance said she felt the march played an important role for women on campus. “The Women’s March is to remind people we need to keep fighting for complete equality,” she said.
Severance expressed concern that women are still frequently undervalued and mistreated. “I feel there needs to be more solidarity amongst women and we need to spend our time empowering each other, not tearing each other down,” she said.
The march is a powerful demonstration of what women can accomplish when they coordinate and act in solidarity. As Baker said, “we can be each other’s strongest allies if we listen to one another and work together.”