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Meet One of Her Campus’ Co-founders: Windsor Hanger Western

Our chapter had the pleasure of hosting Co-Founder of Her Campus, Windsor Hanger Western, for our International Women’s Day event titled #MakeItHappen.  Along with giving an inspiring speech to our chapter, Hanger Western was happy to sit down with us for an interview.

Alanna Keren: What inspired you to create Her Campus?

Windsor Hanger Western: I was a sophomore at Harvard and was running a women’s lifestyle magazine for Harvard girls that’s very similar to a Her Campus chapter. I had two classmates, Stephanie Kaplan and Annie Wang, who were also running this magazine and we were having so much fun. Our friends at other schools starting saying, “Oh, I really love this. I really love how it’s just for girls at Harvard and I want to start it at my school. Can you help me build a website and help me launch a magazine at my school?” We were thinking about it and we really can’t just farm ourselves out and help our friends one at a time, but what would happen if we built a platform for student journalists? That was the beginning of the idea. It was based on the idea that so many college women want to contribute, want to have their voices heard, and want a platform to be heard. We were inspired. We entered the Harvard Business Clan competition; we won and we launched the site the fall of our senior year.

AK: What motivated you to grow Her Campus to where it is today?

WHW: I love what I do every single day and when you are passionate about your work, work doesn’t feel like work. So I don’t have to think, “Oh, I really need to grow this. I really need to make it a big thing.”  I’m just so passionate about it and I love it so much that everyday it’s inevitable that it should grow, inevitable that I should work really hard. Also, when I see college women on Campus and hear how Her Campus is impacting their lives and how it is changing their lives, it just makes me even more excited to continue to grow it to more schools.

AK: What is your favourite part of your job?

WHW: My favourite part of my job is actually coming to speak to schools. I’ve met amazing Campus Correspondents and I get to meet team members. Really it’s our campus chapters that make Her Campus work and make Her Campus what it is. My very favourite part is travelling around and meeting the women behind our campus chapters.  

AK: What do you want for Her Campus in the Future?

WHW: In the future, I want everyone to know about Her Campus. I know not everyone is going to love Her Campus. If you try to make everyone like something, no one is going to love it. I you make people love something then it is not going to be universally applicable. My goal is not to have everyone college women in the world love Her Campus, but to have every college women in the world know about Her Campus so that those women who are passionate about journalism and passionate about women’s issues know that they have a platform.   

AK: What does International Women’s Day and feminism mean to you?

WHW: Feminism means equality between men and women. Plain and simple. I wish that everyone knew that all it means is men and women should have equal capabilities and equal opportunities. International Women’s Day is a wonderful day to take a step back and celebrate 50% of the world’s population, to celebrate those things that make women unique, and to get together and talk about the larger issues.  

AK: What is the greatest advice you have ever been given?

WHW: The greatest advice I’ve ever been given is a quote that’s says “Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” That’s good advice because I feel men and women feel so much pressure to be like other people. They feel so much pressure to chase after other people’s dreams or to compare themselves to other people instead of really figuring out who they are, what makes them tick, what makes them passionate, and then really pursuing those things.

AK: Your name is quite unique. Is there any specific reason that you were named Windsor? 

WHW: Windsor is my mom’s maiden name. When she got married, she became Hanger- my dad’s last name- so she gave me Windsor as my first name.

AK: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

WHW: If I could travel anywhere in the world I would travel to Japan because I’ve always wanted to go to Asia, sushi is my favourite food, and I think Japanese culture is so wonderful and creative. Their technology supersedes anywhere else. 

Hanger Western grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, in the mountain region. Including her sister-in-law, she has four younger sisters.  She went to Harvard University, starting off in pre-med and eventually switching to a major in the history of science with a minor in French. Her favourite colour is hot pink, followed closely by glitter.  Her favourite animal is a flamingo, but she would not want one as a pet unless she had a house in Florida that had a garden with flamingos in it.  In her free time, she loves to try cooking new recipes with her husband, travelling, and doing yoga.  The best memory from her childhood is going to Disney World with her dad, mom, and sister for the first time. Even while she continues to be busy with Her Campus, she still loves Disney World and Florida. 

Alanna Keren

UWindsor '20

Alanna is currently a 1st year student at the University of Windsor pursuing a degree in Education. She graduated from the University of WIndsor with double major in English and French in 2018. She was Co-CC/Editior in Chief of HCUWindsor from 2015-2018 and is now the Tresaurer and Guidance Counsellor. She is a figure skater and loves to get in some extra ice time in her free time. Her favourite animal is a polar bear and her favourite colour is purple. She love sparkles. Her clothing style is girly and kind of dressy. Sparkly make-up and big earrings are a big part of her look. When she is not doing homework, working at her job at Tootsies Shoe Store, coaching figure skating, or writing for Her Campus, she likes decorating cakes and cupcakes and hanging out with friends.
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