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Illustration by Devon Milley
Career > Her20s

Broken Glass: A Letter from the Editor

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.

This past summer, I sat in my hometown listening to the stories of friends at various institutions that felt like they did not have a voice. I had friends both at the University of Maryland and other universities experience sexual assault – whether verbal or physical, endure disadvantages in their fields just for being a women or quite simply feel unsafe walking down the streets of their schools.I myself experienced these things, and realized, there really wasn’t a platform easily accessible for female college students to share their stories.

 A 2020 report by the Association of American Universities found that over 59% of female college students experienced some form of harassment. They are let down by their communities with no platform to voice the everyday harassments that they have faced. After following up on these statistics and listening to my peers’ stories, I sat down and thought to myself, the University of Maryland is failing when it comes to protecting women’s rights. 

Since coming to this realization, I’ve had individuals in our community say things along the lines of “it’s not the institutions that are failing, it’s the women themselves.” Although I may not agree with this sentiment, maybe something needs to be done to make sure our voices are heard. As young adults, maybe we’re just a group of “failing feminists,” with high aspirations for female empowerment and yet let down by the communities we’re a part of. I’ve slowly learned throughout my  time at the university that it is okay to be a failing feminist as long as our voices are heard. 

Because of this, this semester our chapter will be launching a new column of our publication, titled “Broken Glass.” This column will act as an opinion and feature desk, raising awareness to issues the women in our community are facing on a daily basis. The University of Maryland and City of College Park claim to be a district for equality, yet in some aspects, are still failing the students, staff members, and residents that live and work here. On a national and global scale, these circumstances are even more common. 

Through “Broken Glass,” we will be sharing the stories of the women in our area and exploring ideas on how to improve as a society. Topics the column will discuss might include how the blue light system is failing at the University of Maryland, the fact that the university has never had a female president, or the everlasting issue of sexual assault on this campus. Some stories will be written anonymously to protect the identity and careers of our writers, but I can guarantee you that all pieces composed will come from a basis of fact and stories filled with truth. 

I hope that through the voices of our writers and the stories of young women in our community, our organization can amplify the voices of those not typically heard and create a platform for change in our own communities. As women, we must fight for the “little things” that are not so little in our eyes, but also the safety, education and health of our community. One of my favorite analogies is the idea that one paper cut may not affect you on a day-to-day basis, but a thousand paper cuts will. The women at the University of Maryland and institutions across the nation have far too many cuts and it’s time to stop the bleeding. 

Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with the stories our writers will create this semester. I’m so incredibly proud of the time and courage that our publication has taken to establish a column like this, and cannot wait to see the impact that our stories will hold. 


Gracie Tanner, Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at Maryland, your first “failing feminist”

Gracie is a junior journalism and public policy double major at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, Gracie is one of the Campus Correspondents for her chapter alongside Devon Milley.