Sunday, September 26, 2010

Women's Leadership Coalition

Great ideas are seldom executed. 

Shayna Noonen is full of ideas.  A feminist, dedicated to social justice, this very serious girl never takes herself too seriously.  She also never misses an opportunity to interject a "that's what she said."  Noonen's like a human mullet; business up front, party in the back.  But damn, can she get things done.

Last year, as a college freshman, this one-woman-think-tank organized a campus-wide revolution.  While researching the history of activism, Noonen realized that her own school was suffering from splintering and she named the epidemic fractured feminism.  Then she vowed to fix it. 

Saturday brought about the second ever meeting of Bowling Green State University's Women's Leadership Coalition (WLC).  The tradition of congregating bi-annually was established last March at the first official get together.  Born during Women's History Month, the WLC chose the Women's Center as it's home base and has established itself as an organization that is now recognized by the office of campus activities.

While bureaucracy is a necessary burden, other aspects are certainly more important-- like the symbolic connectedness of this innovative collaboration.  Finally, there is a forum for discussion.  Finally, there is a space for interaction.  Finally, there is a supportive platform upon which the women of this college can take a stand against sexism.

Membership is still growing.  The WLC is currently comprised of leaders from five groups; the National Council of Negro Women, Precious Stones, Sisterhood and Serenity, the Organization for Women's Issues and Graduate Women's Caucus.  After drafting a constitution, they agreed to join forces in October for Bowling Green's Take Back the Night, and an empowering evening out in the Spring, to combat the culture of objectification that plagues the downtown area.

With this agenda, it would seem the first order of business is reclaiming public space-- a struggle for women in any arena, but of particular importance to those in college.  With high instances of sexual assault on a campus that is frequently visited by Girls Gone Wild, it makes sense that these women would unite against violence and degradation.

Looking at the earliest accomplishments of the WLC, one can't help but wonder why this hasn't been done before.  But like I said, great ideas are seldom executed.

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