News Gcs Aauw Advocating For Era Initiative - Garrett College
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Campus News

Octobr 17th, 2023

GC's AAUW advocating for ERA initiative

Chapter also sponsoring October 20th dance, Dove Center hygiene drive


Nadia Ward, right, and Stacie Bentz operate the Garrett College AAUW table. The tabling event was part of a highly successful membership drive for the chapter.

McHenry, MD – Garrett College's AAUW chapter is seeking to recapture the momentum it displayed prior to the COVID pandemic.

"I would like to see AAUW at Garrett College become as active as it was before the pandemic," said Dr. Terry Kasecamp, the chapter's faculty advisor, who noted "AAUW has been empowering women since 1881."

Two new chapter members said they saw an opportunity to support other women through AAUW.

"I was part of a Southern Garrett High School women's society," said Nadia Ward. "I wanted to do something for women in college. I saw the [AAUW] QR code on a flyer and emailed Dr. Kasecamp."

Another new member – Boonsboro High School graduate Stacie Bentz – said she hopes to "make an impact on other people's lives" through AAUW.

Kasecamp said the chapter officers "have a long list of activities that they are already working to bring into fruition." One early activity has been advocating for approval of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) through a crafting activity.

"Craftism is the act of using craft projects as a form of protest or to advocate for social and political causes," explained Kasecamp. "We are working with the Garrett County branch of the AAUW to advocate for the ERA by painting rocks to place around the College and the community."

An Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923, finally passed Congress in 1972. It's been stuck in a constitutional quagmire since, achieving the required approval of 38 state legislatures, but not by the 1982 deadline set out in the proposed amendment.

Efforts to extend the deadline have been unsuccessful, with the most recent attempt failing in April to reach the 60-vote requirement to end debate and move to a vote in the U.S. Senate.

"Significant social change requires that a critical mass of individuals demand these changes," observed Kasecamp. "For example, women and men began advocating for the 19th Amendment – giving women the right to vote – in 1848. It took 72 years for the 19th Amendment to become federal law."

Kasecamp said she and co-advisor Kym Newmann "are determined to support the leadership of AAUW in any way we can."

"We would especially like to see several members of our chapter attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in May," added Kasecamp.

Kasecamp said AAUW is sponsoring a dance on Friday, October 20th from 8-11 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College's recital hall. A minimum $5 donation – check or cash – is required. Checks may be written out to AAUW at Garrett College (Breast Cancer Research Donation) and mailed to AAUW at Garrett College, c/o Dr. Terry Kasecamp, 687 Mosser Road, McHenry, MD 21541.

Snacks, drinks, door prizes, photos, and more will be provided. Attendees are reminded to "pink out" and wear something pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

AAUW is also sponsoring, through the end of October, a Hygiene Drive to benefit the Dove Center. Garrett College students will be setting up a table several days in the cafeteria to accept donations. Gifts of body wash, shampoo, feminine products, razors, lotion and Walmart gift cards may also be dropped off at Room 686.

AAUW is also planning to participate in next month's Festival of Trees, which benefits the Dove Center. The Dove Center mission includes providing "safety, advocacy, and counseling to individuals whose lives have been shattered by domestic violence and/or sexual assault".