Summit expands horizons of the ‘Status of Women’

Kendall Seigworth
Contributing Writer

On Weds. April 9, Millersville University held the 25th Anniversary Summit of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. The summit was an opportunity for Millersville University students, staff and professors to learn more about the status of women on the MU campus and the status of women in other PASSHE schools. 

There were four panels about the impact of body image, how action and advocacy can secure women’s reproductive health rights, what local community organizations can do to promote women’s equality and what local governments can do to promote women’s equality as well. Among the talks and other activities, a ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ exercise was used to act out different scenarios that women on campus have encountered or may someday face. Then, the audience had to discuss ways to solve problems within the acted-out scenario.

Chair of the summit Jayme Trogus, director of the Center for Health Education and Promotion, suggested how students, professors and staff can better the status of women on campus. “In order to maintain and improve [women’s] status, I believe we need to start by knowing what the current status is. While the Commission continues to work diligently on the status of women, we can’t do it alone,” said Trogus. “I would encourage students to become involved in organizations to better themselves and their campus. The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership is currently working with the YWCA Lancaster to develop a student empowerment organization on campus, but there are many ways that students can become involved on campus.” 

When asked why she became involved with the summit, lead event planning committee member Jan Bechtel from MU’s Office of Social Equity & Diversity said, “I am interested in this work for a variety of reasons, I am a woman, a social worker, a parent of a daughter, the daughter of a mother, care about the status of women, have been impacted by significant women in my life, and believe that women are one of the most undervalued and untapped resources that exists today.”

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