Vagina Monologues seeks to educate students about women’s issues

Feb. 15, 2016

Rachel Librach
rlibrach@uccs.edu

Sometimes, people need to be reminded of the beauty of the human body, especially when they are constantly criticized by society.

The MOSAIC office hopes to help with that goal by hosting the second annual Vagina Monologues Feb. 20-21 in Berger Hall.

The event is a series of skits performed by students to convey, sometimes via humor, the serious issues that many women face.

All proceeds from the event will go to TESSA, a nonprofit organization that works with domestically abused and sexually assaulted women. Campus organizations The Wellness Center and Respect On Campus will also be present.

The offices and organization will answer questions and provide information on support groups.

The skits include topics such as rape, sexual abuse and appreciation of one’s body. A great deal of the material is based on personal experience, according to sophomore women’s and ethnic studies major Quinita Thomas.

13 female students volunteered to read their stories, a smaller cast than last year.

“The Vagina Monologues” was originally a play written by Eve Ensler. Ensler wrote it to bring awareness to the plights facing women across the world.

“Eve Ensler is a hero because I didn’t think people would ever write about this kind of stuff but I’m glad she did. It’s really inspirational,” said Thomas, who will read a piece at the event.

“I did (Vagina Monologues) last year because I love acting and I actually cried when it was over. I had so much fun that I volunteered to do it again this year,” added Thomas.

Graduate student Lisa Colon is also returning to the production after being inspired by the blunt nature of the play.

“I was in awe that someone took the time to ask women about their vaginas, because you know that’s not something most people are comfortable talking about,” said Colon, who will be performing a narrative about watching the birth of a baby.

Some skits are performed by one person and others are done in groups, according to Brian Garris, graduate assistant for MOSAIC.

“We advertised on campus and in the community, so anyone who had an interest in sharing their stories had the opportunity to audition and, per the mission of the Vagina Monologues, everyone who wants to be included is included,” he said.

Garris directed the first Vagina Monologues at UCCS.

“We were looking for ways to bring more inclusion of women’s issues and raise awareness about those identities just to make the campus more educated,” he said.

Thomas said the event is a fun opportunity for students to get involved.

“Students should watch the play to educate themselves that rape and sexual abuse is an actual thing that we need to address. Women will not be sexualized and objectified for the male’s benefit,” said Thomas.

Colon added that men should see the play, too.

“Guys need to see this play because they should know that a woman’s body is more than just flesh and that there is true beauty in it,” she said.