Women’s History Month kicks off with a week of celebrating “Visionary Women”

Courtsey of womenshistorymonth.gov

Courtsey of womenshistorymonth.gov

Lismery Luna, Contributing Writer

Women’s History Month this March began at William Paterson University with a discussion on gun violence on Thursday Feb. 28. The theme of the week is visionary women who fight and champion for peace and non-violence. The opening ceremony was held in Ballroom A of the Student Center.

Loren Kleinman was the opening speaker. Kleinman is a feminist author who wrote a book on her research of victims and survivors of school mass shootings. The ceremony included a discussion on Kleinman’s new book, “If I don’t make it, I love you.” Kleinman presented her research on the treatment of victims and survivors of school mass shootings spanning the last 50 years.

Kleinman’s presentation included pictures and messages from survivors of gun violence never seen by the media. Kleinman shared her notes written during her own research, and additional research on the effects of school violence. Kleinman’s research concluded that the immediate treatment of survivors of gun violence needs improvement. According to Kleinman, for survivors to be properly treated, the way people view victims of gun violence needs to change. She argues that survivors and victims should be seen as people first and foremost, and not as objects that the media can use to sell a story. After the presentation, there were questions from the audience discussing Kleinman’s research and the effects of violence on students and the community.

The Opening Ceremony was the beginning of a week of events related to Women’s History Month, such as A Girls Night Out, Creating Care Packages, Comedy Night, hikes and a health and fitness event.

Tristan Tosh, the Assistant Director of Campus Activities, Service and Leadership helped coordinate the opening ceremony with 3 student chairs of related clubs and organizations. These student chairs included Brittany Anderson, president of S.A.B.L.E, who discussed the theme of the month, “women of peace and non-violence,” and explained how “women in general have been a pinnacle of strength and the epitome of grace and iron hammer. This week is going to capture that,” Anderson said.

She continued her introduction by explaining the other events that coincide with the theme of the week. “This week is going to be educational, it’s going to be powerful, its going to be very impactful. It’s not going to be a week you want to miss.” Anderson said.

Tristan Tosh thanked audience members and various faculty members, such as Vice-President of Student Development, Dr. Miki Cammarata, and other staff who helped coordinate the event. After, Tosh introduced another student chair, Brianna Egers, who discussed the other clubs and organizations who sponsored the opening ceremony. Egers thanked the organizations who co-sponsored the event.

Tosh introduced the last student chair, Fatima Jamal Kanouni, who introduced the event’s opening speaker, Loren Kleinman.

The event was funded by the Student Government Association and sponsored by a host of organizations and departments of William Paterson University, such as ATMOSS, Brave New Radio, Campus Activities, Service & Leadership, Feminist Collective, Lambda Tau Omega, Mu Sigma Upsilon, The Office of International Students and Scholars, The Organization of Latin American Students, Recreational Services, Residence Life, Sisters for Awareness, Black Leadership & Equality, University Theater, The Women’s Center, Women and Gender Studies, and Zeitgeist.

Each member of the sponsoring organizations presented themselves and provided information about their organization to the audience.

The events continue until March 7th. Information about upcoming events is posted throughout campus.