Name: Jessica Kaplan (Far right)
Major: Environmental Humanities
Hometown: Enfield, CT
Name: Katelyn Morrie (Second from left)
Major: Athletic Training
Hometown: Port Washington, NY
Name: Karol Perez (Far left)
Major: Biology- Pre-PA
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Name: Jessica Carpio (Second from right)
Major: Health Science with Women’s and Gender Studies Minor
Hometown: Ossining, NY
Jessica K: “Equality for everyone!”
Katelyn: “We are an advocacy and support group for those on campus that believe all genders should be equal to each other. We strive to improve people’s view on body image, support sexual assault survivors, take a stand against sexual assault and violence, and support the equality of all genders in all aspects among many other things.”
Karol: “It stands for empowerment; empowering yourself and helping others achieve that by addressing the current social issues that block us from it no matter if you identify as male or female. We focus on gender and the impact it has on our lives, as well as the lives of those around us, and use feminism as the prime tool.”
Jessica C: “The Center for Womyn’s Concerns is a feminist organization that promotes equality among all Seawolves. We encourage thoughtful discussion among our members to promote the idea that feminism isn’t an about forming an “us vs. them” ideology but rather understanding we each have our own opinions and perceptions influenced by a combination of many different social identities. Our personal experiences, culture, religion, and other aspects that create identity form our unique opinions, beliefs and desires. By taking all these aspects of identity into account we focus on the importance of intersectionality and understand this is an important concept to keep in mind in order to remain respectful to one another. We hope to highlight that the goal of feminism is not to bring any individual down in order to empower yourself, rather it’s to understand there are places in our society where we are not all seen as equal or live by unequal expectations due to a gender binary and we focus on changing that.”
Why is it important to have this organization on campus?
Jessica K: “We try to do events that get people out and talking about topics that may not be the easiest to talk about. We hope that people feel empowered and confident from our events and meetings.”
Katelyn: “We are not working to make women equal to men; we want equal opportunities and societal standards to be equal for all. Anyone can make the same wages, anyone can cry, anyone can be struck with mental illness and seek help.”
Karol: “We are a camp-us. It’s like we camp together and rely on each other to survive the night. We are a community of strong young adults campus-wide and represent the demographic with the most power in all aspects. What we culture here will travel the world and spread ideas necessary for life improvement.”
Jessica C: “We want all people on this campus to understand that whether or not you identify with feminism or not, what we strive toward as a feminist club is creating a space where everyone of us can feel comfortable, confident and empower each other. This unifying idea is present in many organizations and part of why people join causes and clubs.”
What are some of the best experiences you have had being involved with CWC?
Jessica K: “It has been amazing to see how much people really do enjoy our events and that they take so much away from it. I am so proud when people come to us to say how Ladies Night at the Rec made them go to the gym with confidence and that they still wear their Love Your Body Day T-shirts.”
Katelyn: “Definitely the impact our events have had. This past year we hosted Take Back the Night for the first time. Sexual assault and violence is something close to my heart and being able to show survivors how incredible they are and how strong they are along with taking a stand against sexual assault on this campus specifically empowered us as a club. We spoke out, we were not silent, we made a difference for those on this campus that were affected by sexual assault or who might have been.”
Karol: “My own thoughts and ideologies have been challenged- from those that I was brought up with to those I have cultured myself. I am challenged daily. It is no use to have a Vice President that merely spreads ideas, yet can’t relate to the audience. I grow with the people around me.”
Jessica C: “I think some of the best memories have been hearing people say how much fun they have had at an event or how an event has truly impacted them. One specific memory I have was around Take Back The Night. Last year was the first time CWC’s current executive board organized Take Back the Night. With plenty of help from Chris Szaraz from CPO, and our former advisor Mary Elizabeth and many others, I was so pleased to see how many people from our community came out to rally, support and march around campus to show we are united and ready to fight towards ending sexual assault and violence on our campus. Seeing so many Seawolves join this cause made us certain this wasn’t just something we were fighting as a club. It showed that sexual assault and violence is an issue that affects us all and that many people care about are ready to stand up and say something about it also.”
What impact do you hope to make on those who come to CWC meetings and events?
Jessica K: “We really just want to get people thinking and interacting with each other. Some of our best meetings aren’t when we’re planning a big event, but just hanging out and talking. Bouncing ideas and opinions off each other has made me change the way I see so many things and I have the CWC to thank.”
Katelyn: “Our general body meetings work to be a continual support system for anyone that comes, we work on the basis that nothing said in our meetings transfers out or is shared without consent. We are a network of individuals on campus that are supporting each other through the ups and downs of college life in addition to handling the added difficulties of being perceptive to the gender differences in society. Our events’ main goals are to show people that they are not alone and there are support systems and resources available to them for whatever they are dealing with.”
Karol: “To help them understand that we must grow as individuals and help those around us while doing so. The idea is to empower each other in order to create a better future in society.”
Jessica C: “I think it would definitely be having members feel comfortable sharing their opinions, questions, and experiences as a feminist, as a student, as an identity they may have. We hope they can go on and feel confident to identify themselves as feminists and even feel empowered to share their opinions on topics they’re passionate about.”
What do you want this organization’s legacy to continue on to be?
Jessica K: “I would love for the CWC to keep holding our yearly events, like Ladies Night and Love Your Body Day. They have meant so much to everyone involved and it’s exciting to see how the events will evolve and change from year to year.”
Katelyn: “We want to stay true to our roots of encouraging equality among all genders but this year’s eboard hopes that our new ideals on sexual violence, assault, body image and breaking apart the ‘typical’ stereotype of feminists are lasting.”
Jessica C: “It would be great if the CWC could continue to be known as a group or a smaller community where people can go to ask questions, to learn more about their feminism, and be able to carry that out to the rest of the community. I hope that the events that encourage healthy body image and positivity, speaking up against sexual assault and violence and providing all students with an equal opportunity in every aspect of campus will help unite us and promote a sense of unity as University.”
What upcoming events do you have?
Jessica C: “This spring semester we have Ladies Night at the Rec on Monday March 7th at 7pm. The Center for Womyn’s Concerns is partnering with FIT SBU and SBU Campus Rec. We hope to break barriers and feel confident while working out. We want ALL Seawolves to come and feel able to use all the Rec’s resources EQUALLY!
We are also organizing Take Back The Night here on campus on April 26th at 7pm in the SAC auditorium. We are inviting the Stony Brook University campus to take a stand against sexual assault and violence. Every student has the right to a safe environment and yet everyday there are those that are deprived of it. Programs are being scheduled throughout the entire month in order to educate and empower students on the matter. We invite all organizations to partake in the night by joining the march as well as decorating a felt square with their clubs name on it. We will provide the felt squares, and these will all get stitched together and be displayed on the night of the event. We will also be distributing teal ribbons throughout April to promote sexual assault awareness.”