Baylor’s department of multicultural affairs is hosting several events to celebrate Women’s History Month this March.
The events include a “Rosie the Riveter” Ice Cream Social, a women’s history panel and a lunch-and-learn. The events are organized by the department of multicultural affairs, but many events are sponsored by other groups on campus such as the Society of Women Engineers, Student Activities, The Waco Hippodrome and the Women’s and Gender Studies minor program.
The “Rosie the Riveter” Ice Cream Social was on Friday in the lobby of the Teal Residence Hall. The social was held by the Baylor Society of Women Engineers. The goal of the social was to spread the word about powerful women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Brochures were given out at the social that featured powerful women in the field.
“Rosie the Riveter is a symbol for women to take up roles not generally given to us,” said Dani Schmidt, New Braunfels senior president of the Baylor Society of Women Engineers said. “That is what we do as female engineers, take up roles that are traditionally not given to us.”
The Women’s History panel will be held on Wednesday in the Bobo Spiritual Life Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is the second year that the department of multicultural affairs will host the panel. There will be free pizza for the first 50 people. Dr. Matt Gerber, an associate professor in the communications arts and sciences department, and Kay Miller, professor of sociology, have been asked to speak at the panel. Gerber spoke at the panel last year and was invited back this year.
“I think here at Baylor we just have an exceptional group of professors across all of the departments, and I just wanted to hone in on what women’s history month means to them,” said Dallas senior Riya Rahman.
Rahman has held a role in putting the panel together and planning the event. Rahman said she thinks women’s history is ‘so overarching’, so she looked for professors who are great speakers and wanted to hear what historical women made an impact in their life. She also wanted the professors to tell students about the historical women that they think students should know about.
“This issue overall is relatable because there are women on college campuses and equal rights is still a conversation we’re having today,” Rahman said. “So if we look to our past to see what has been done and what could be done. That is how this panel works, to give students insight and to know this is something you can do too. If you want to champion the cause that’s something that you’re fully capable of doing.”
Another event that will happen is a “lunch and learn” on March 31 at 11:15 a.m. in the Houston room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. The lunch and learn will show a TED Talk by award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche titled “We Should All Be Feminists.” After the TED Talk there will be a round table discussion. This is the last event that is being hosted for women’s history month. Lunch will be provided but students must RSVP through Baylor Connect to guarantee their spot.
“The oppression against women is not as overt as it was in the past, so I think sometimes it’s easy for students to not see it as a valid issue but I think there is still a pay wage gap that’s pretty significant,” said Chelsea Brown ,graduate apprentice for the department of multicultural affairs. “I think as students enter the professional world, they’ll see that a little more. Whereas in colleges and institutions of higher education women are typically majority so they don’t really feel that pressure. So I think that we want to prepare our students well to go out in the world and fight for equality.”
Brown encourages men to attend the lunch and learn as well because she said that the title is “We Should ALL Be Feminists.” She said that the TED talk is not just for women but for everyone.
Other events that happened this month for women’s history month was a documentary screening of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” and the Movie Monday at the Waco Hippodrome showed “Noble.” “Noble” is a film about an Irish woman who has a harsh childhood and wants to escape the slums of Ireland and make her dreams come true in Vietnam. “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” is a documentary about the women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971.