Elect Her empowers students

Tyler Cox

UW Oshkosh women were encouraged to lead society and build leadership skills in Reeve Memorial Union Theater last Saturday. In Reeve Room 307, The Women’s Center, Women’s Advocacy Council, The Sisterhood, Reeve Memorial Union and the Oshkosh Student Association joined together to create a workshop called Elect Her. Its main focus was to encourage women on campus to take an interest in political careers or leadership roles in their own life. Program Assistant for the Women’s Center Eliza Farrow said women and minorities need to be encouraged to take on a bigger role in politics. “I think it’s really important to encourage students, particularly women and minorities, who are interested in this kind of thing,” Farrow said. According to Farrow, if women’s voices are not represented in politics, their voice will not be heard. “It is super important that we get places like [the federal government] to represent what our society looks like, and how the breakdown of our society is,” Farrow said. Farrow said women’s voices aren’t as frequently heard, which results in underrepresentation. Currently, only 19.4 percent of the United States Congress is made up of women, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s last poll in 2014, women make of 50.8 percent of the population. Sommer Hodson, the interim director of the Women’s Center, said pursuing a goal where voices are heard is worth it so that our society could benefit from ideas that might otherwise be unheard of. “I think [Elect Her] should resonate with UWO students, because people who go to a college are looking to gain skills that they can use in everyday life, and [skills] that employers are looking for,” Farrow said. “This training is for teaching you things like how to build a constituency, and not only politics in general, but it is also leadership training and empowerment training.” Brooke Berrens, the student liaison for the Women’s Center, said this workshop helps women to be able to stand up, and the workshops that the Women’s Center organizes help women outside the realm of politics. “The workshop creates more confidence and helps you to know how to speak for yourself,” Berens said. “It’s for teaching women how to step up.” According to Berens, it’s not just about standing up for yourself during your day; it’s about making sure that you are treated fairly in the workplace. It teaches women what to know when looking for a job. “You can use those skills for the rest of your life no matter what you’re doing,” Berens said.