Women?s safety a concern on campus and in the community

Michael Castleberry

Michael CastleberryReporter

The Coalition will be busy this fall with events centered around women empowerment.

The SDSU’s Campus Women’s Coalition offers ways to promote awareness of women’s rights and provides tools and opportunities for all to become educated on such issues.

Molly Miles, a senior broadcast journalism major, is the president of the Campus Women’s Coalition, an organization devoted to helping women become successful economically, socially and politically.

The Campus Women’s Coalition has been part of the SDSU campus since 2003. Miles says the group is rooted around women’s social values and ideals.

“We want women to feel good about themselves,” Miles said. “We want equality and visibility for all marginalized groups.”

Volunteering and fund-raising for the Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter is one of the major focus points for the organization. On Sept. 9 they volunteered their services at the shelter’s fourth annual Cycle to Stop the Cycle. The proceeds from The Vagina Monologues, which will take place later this winter, are going to the shelter as well. A week to end violence, as well as a women’s leadership luncheon, are a few more activities that the Campus Women’s Coalition participate in.

Upcoming events also include Love Your Body Day and a Dying Day later this month.

Love Your Body Day will focus on a positive self-image for women. Dying Day has been nationally recognized since 1988. It is held to acknowledge the fact that a woman dies every minute because of pregnancy complications. It will be an hour-long event, during which a bell will ring every minute. At the end of the 60 minutes, 60 women will be lying on the floor to represent 60 women who have passed away from pregnancy complications.

Miles referred to the Campus Women’s Coalition as “the condom fairies.” They have dispersed condoms twice this year, and more will be passed out during Hobo Day week, which is Oct. 18-23.

The group also helped with the voting campaign that was held Sept. 29 and 30.

The Campus Women’s Coalition meets every Wednesday at 5 p.m., in The Union, room 260. Meeting discussions include issues on campus, events that are happening within the next couple of weeks and any social issues. The group is open for both men and women.

A conference along the topic of childbirth will be held in Brookings later this week.

The South Dakota Safe Childbirth Options is sponsoring the Healthy Families: Birth and Beyond Conference on Friday, Oct. 8 and Saturday, Oct. 9 at Peace Lutheran Church. Admission for adults is $1. However, free tickets can be printed from the website, www.sdSafeBirth.org.

The conference starts at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 with discussions on the politics of birth. On Saturday, Oct. 9, starting at 9 p.m. topics will include health care in the past, present and future, along with the topic of pain-free birth without drugs. Noon session topics include boosting your immune system naturally, the role of doulas and midwives in supporting women, and lastly, strategies for optimizing women’s health.

Carri Lucas, a junior majoring in nutritional science, pre-dental, believes that she would benefit from the conference. She is most interested in the topics about health care past, future, and present, pain-free birth without drugs, and boosting your immune system. Lucas feels that many women are unaware of a pain-free birth without the drugs and are unfamiliar with health care and other ways to take care of their bodies.

Lucas said “If younger women had the understanding of a better and healthier way to diminish the pain of birth, less of these complications would occur in the U.S. overall, and “We can take extra precautions and take care of the problem naturally before we get sick.”

Debbie Pease is the SDSCO Legislative Coordinator from Centerville. Pease said she recommends the conference to college students because South Dakota is a state that has very limited resources when it comes to birthing options. 2010 is an election year, and those who attend the conference will be educated about the need to improve and expand birth options in the state of South Dakota. College students, along with their families, will benefit the most from the law.

SDSCO is an organization made up of members who greatly care about childbirth safety. They care about families choosing a practice of childbirth that works best for them.