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Women's History Month kicks into gear

By Cindy Schueman
On February 28, 2014

March is Women's History Month and Tech has scheduled a variety of events to commemorate the significance of women.  

Diana Lalani of the Women's Center and Robert Owens, Director of Minority Affairs, each have opportunities for students to educate themselves about the generations of women who have impacted change, growth, pioneered in science, the environment, medicine, impacted the course of business, labor, politics, religion and women's rights.

Beginning Monday, March 3 through Friday, March 7, there will be an exhibit in the RUC lobby featuring an extensive collection of Women's History posters chronicling information over the past several decades.  Passerby's can pick up pamphlets or take quizzes to test their women's awareness knowledge.

Two documentaries will be shown on Tuesday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 18, respectively, both at the dead hour in the lounge area of the Office of Minority Affairs on the 2nd floor of the RUC.  The first is a historical feature about Ruby Bridges who dared to integrate into a white populated school.  The second feature is a controversial film entitled Dark Girls exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color.

Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. in Derryberry Hall the Women's Center is presenting a film about Eve Ensler's play the Vagina Monologues.  This award-winning film considers how the Vagina Monologues inspired an international movement to stop violence against women.  Mark Creter from the Backdoor Playhouse is compiling some highlights of previous TTU presentations of the Vagina Monologues to be shown after the documentary.  This program is sponsored by the Tech Players and Alpha Psi Omega Dramatic Honor Society and there is a $5.00 charge that will be donated to Genesis House of Cookeville.

Alex Wilson, a sophomore English major at TTU, said she had her own idea about Women's History Month.

"There are plenty of women of significance here on campus that should be featured each week, as well as all the programming".

The Merchandising Association is sponsoring a fashion show Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m.  in the RUC Multipurpose Room.  The students will take the audience through a "A Bicentennial Celebration" of clothing treasures and trends from the early 1900's to the present styles accompanied with music from each correlating era.  The cost is $5.00 for general admission and $3.00 for students.

Leigh Ann Turner is a senior in human ecology and involved in the Merchandising Association.

"In my major, we are interested in the history cycles of women's dress and how that dress defines each generation," Turner said. 

Rob Owens said he acknowledges the significance women have had in contributing to the integration and education of the minority cultures.   On Tuesday, March 25, the Office of Minority Affairs is featuring a prominent quest speaker addressing students during an elegant etiquette dinner. 

"Students need to learn early-on tips about dressing, table etiquette and conversation," Owens said.  

The dinner is limited to only 30 students and sign up is necessary by March 20.

Lalani said that the last two programs of the month will continue the theme of Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.  Both events are in Derryberry Hall at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 25.  Beverly Watts, executive director of the Tennessee Humans Rights Commission, will share memories of her life as an African American woman coming of age in the Civil Rights era.

The final event will be presented by Dr. Kathryn Pearson, associate professor at University of Minnesota.  Dr. Pearson will speak about the challenges for women political candidates and women who are already serving in elected offices.


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