“I’m into the what?”
“Well you’re running for SCWSC and not TAC, so you must be interested in the Mada aspects of Yeshiva University, and not the Torah aspects. Sure, I’ll sign my name for you.”
This frustrating conversation took place while I was collecting signatures for my nomination to run for Student Council this past Spring. As a woman who is extremely passionate about Torah learning and committed to halakha, I was disturbed by the stereotype presented in this conversation. Not only was I saddened by the assumptions that my peer made about me, but, more importantly, by the misconceptions she had about the values of SCWSC and those who participate in our events.
Now, I could address these stereotypes head-on and try to prove that my fellow council members and I are committed to Torah learning and Torah values. However, this seems unnecessary, and would further legitimize the stereotype that SCWSC is only for the women who talk to men, their events are for the “not-so frum”, etc. This conversation, however, did make me aware of a vital issue confronting our council: the notion that there are some women in Stern College who feel uncomfortable attending SCWSC-ran events. This pre-conception is extremely troublesome, problematic, and is an issue that needs immediate addressing.
If one were to take the time to read the SCWSC mission statement, it is clear that our council is committed to embracing the diversity of the Beren Campus, while simultaneously striving to unite its members. As a council, we feel that our diverse student body is an asset to our college, and it motivates our council to create more unique events and clubs that appeal to the student body’s various interests. Additionally, we work extremely hard to be sensitive to the needs and desires of all of the different members of the SCW community. We want to ensure that every woman in Stern College feels comfortable attending an SCWSC event, whether it is uptown on the Wilf campus or downtown on our lovely home turf.
The question is, how?
Since our council’s first meeting last year, it was clear to the council that active steps and subtle changes would need to be implemented in order to appeal to a greater constituency. For example, what type of music should we play at our events downtown? Or, how do we remove the stigma of going uptown and ensure that the events held there will be a fun and/or educating experience even for those who do not frequent the 5th floor of the library?
Just a few minutes into our meeting, it became increasingly clear that it would be naïve for the members of SCWSC to assume that we can foresee and address each area of sensitivity that might arise for every event that we run. Thus, we turn to you the student body for your guidance and input. Without further ado…drum roll please…the creation of email@example.com!
This email address should be used as a means of asking for help, expressing frustrations, and presenting new ideas. Scwoncall is a way for you to let us know how we can make our events more appealing to you. It is a way for you to confirm that your thoughts and feelings are relevant and meaningful to SCWSC. It is a way for all SC women to combat and correct the SCWSC stereotypes and a way to unify our campus.
So let’s be clear and unequivocal:
We can’t wait to hear from all of you!
Ktiva V’chatima Tova
Adena Kleiner is the SCWSC Corresponding Secretary.