Women’s Empowerment Day Event 

Story and photos by Samantha Hall

Every year in March, the residents of Sweeney and Merril Hall put together an event to celebrate women. This event was for Women’s Empowerment Day, appreciating women of all ages, religions, races, and body types. The event was put together by the Sweeney and Merril (also known as Swerril) Community Council, inviting both men and women to participate in the fun.  

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Speakers at the event spoke about body neutrality, the idea of accepting your body as it is and recognizing the abilities, physical and non-physical, that your body gives you. This is an important concept, especially with so many social pressures to meet a specific beauty standard.  

The event was both educational and fun, providing a period simulator to represent the struggle during their menstrual cycle. It imitated the feeling of cramps that women get on their periods, with various levels of pressure.  

The get-together had a sex education room, where different posters were displayed, educating viewers about a variety of important topics to know about women’s sexual health, including the importance of consent.  

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“I really liked the sex education room,” said Makayla Osborn, a member of the Swerril Community Council. “I think that’s really cool seeing the information laid out instead of someone telling it to you. It makes it easier to digest and you can take pictures if you want to see any of the information again.” Osborn mentioned that the posters are checked every year to make sure that the information is accurate and remade accordingly. 

There were also a variety of awards handed out, recognizing women’s strengths and talents. These included the Scholar of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, the Resilience Reward, and the Mentor of the Year. The council nominated recipients of the awards to acknowledge their hard work, positive personalities, and how they impact others.  

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The event had an overall classy decorum, with attendees dressing in formal business attire. Mocktails, charcuterie boards, and cupcakes were provided for those attending the event.  

“The impact of this event has is a really positive one because on campus you never really have a reason to dress up and an event all about women,” said Madison Babbit, the treasurer of the council. “So, like you feel empowered, you feel like you can talk amongst each other…share experiences and just a lot of people are having fun.”  

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The atmosphere of the event was welcoming, positive, and encouraging, empowering women to talk about their experiences, good or bad.  

“It definitely helps me feel more confident about myself because every single year we have a different speaker who comes in and I get to work with a really strong team of women every single year for this,” said Caitlyn McIngvale, the president of the community council of Swerril. “I love just seeing people happy and it’s a really great space for a bunch of different people who identify as female or who just want a safe space to come out and we do all sorts of crazy, cooky things and it’s just a lot of fun, and that’s what I like about it.” 

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