It’s a great school year to be a woman

Samantha Garvey, Roving Editor Ω

“Look around the room and see how powerful the collective is so far,” said Alexandra Moulton to a group of eleven female TRU students. On Thursday, Sept. 20, these women made up the first meeting of 2012-13 for TRUSU’s women’s collective.

Eleven TRU female students attended and brought with them a variety of topics, initiatives and concerns they would like to be the focus of this year’s collective.

Most prominent of all the ideas was the Dec. 6 memorial for the 14 female fatalities at the École Polytechnique in 1989. Also known as the Montréal Massacre, gunman Marc Lepine murdered 14 women, claiming to “fight feminism.” The TRUSU Women’s Collective will be holding a vigil in remembrance on Nov. 29 (in order to avoid conflict with exams).

Moulton said because these women were killed while trying to obtain an education, the event is specifically relevant to students.

“Fighting for women’s rights can sometimes make others uncomfortable,” Moulton said, “but it’s an important discomfort for us to create.”

Respect for women on campus and showcasing women’s talents were other potential goals of the group.

“[Let’s] show how great women can be, not just what women can endure, which is also incredible,” Moulton said.

Vita Andersone was the only international student present at the meeting. Originally from Latvia, she said it was important to her for international students to feel safe on campus and to be more informed of how Canadians live. Also a volunteer at the Elizabeth Fry Society, Andersone said she comes from strong female family members.

The meeting was, “just what I expected it to be about,” she said.

The tone and tact of the group was also discussed. “I’m not saying we can’t be abrasive,” said Moulton. “We can totally be abrasive on certain issues.”

Through her program in anthropology, she spent the last year working on a research project about sexual safety on campus. An important subject for her, Moulton encouraged the idea of a sexual safety seminar, not only for medical safety but for emotional well-being and empowerment.

To join the TRUSU Women’s Collective, the next meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. Contact moulton@trusu.ca for more information.