Women’s Student Association looks to empower women, advocate at event

23 October 2018

Joy Webb

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    On Nov. 1, the Women’s Student Association (WSA) is having an dinner event that is for all UCCS students, and will be emphasizing women empowerment and advocacy on campus. Male and female students are encouraged to attend the event, listen to speakers, network and be empowered.

    WSA began over the summer, and is a fairly new organization on campus. They do not meet on a weekly or monthly basis, rather, they have events like the dinner to gather together. There is an executive board that consists of four students: Alexandria Monson, president and senior business major, Sierra Brown senior English and communication double major, Laveen Khoshnaw senior biomedical sciences major and Andrea Poliakon, vice president and senior biomedical sciences major.

    “We wanted to help female students in particular, and obviously male students if they have an interest in this type of empowerment group,” said Monson. “We really value male advocacy actually, so we’re looking for one of our advisors to be male.”

    Currently, the WSA advisor is Sandy Ho, who is the director for the UCCS Excel Languages Center. “Who better than Sandy Ho, honestly,” said Monson.“She helps me every step of the way; I consult her all the time when it comes to matters like this.”

    Before this association, there was no group like it on campus, so Monson and the other members saw a need for a group like this on campus. Other systems like CU Boulder, have similar groups and organizations like the WSA. This association is reaching out to the UCCS campus, and encourages people from all majors and backgrounds to attend the event.

    “It’s a relatively new and impactful moment, so being able to bring something like this to campus is fairly significant,” said Monson. “We’ve had meetings with the chancellor, and he is so on board with our empowerment idea.”

    At the event, dinner will be provided, and there will be guest speakers, like Pam Shakley, Krystal Schiffelbein and Sentwali Bakari who will be speaking on behalf of women empowerment.

    “I’d like to say that we have an extended family of members,” said Monson. “We have a variation of attendees, so join if you want to be inspired. Networking is a big factor.”

    This dinner will kick off the beginning of the organization, as it is their first event. Monson, along with others that were involved in the creation of the association are hoping that the group will grow, and that other will benefit from the creation.

    “I believe we’re looking a lot into the legacy that we provide for UCCS, because all of us on the executive board are seniors and we are actively looking for underclassmen to take over the club when we leave,” said Monson.

    The executive board hopes that the outreach will extend to other colleges, since each person on the board comes from a different area of education. Every person on campus is welcome and encouraged to be a part of WSA, and attend the event.

    Making connections is very important for WSA, and networking at this event will be an important aspect of the dinner.

     Since UCCS is a developing university, Monson believes that the development of this group is the next step for our university to have change and have an impact. Monson thinks that not only UCCS, but also the entire community will benefit from WSA, and that the event will cause a ripple effect throughout the campus and community.
    “We want girls to know that they can do whatever they want, and we should empower each other to do what we want,” said Monson.