Students of Georgetown, Inc. is hosting HoyasForShe week from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17, as part of a larger effort by student to groups to promote gender equality on campus.
HeForShe, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women’s gender equality initiative, named Georgetown one of 10 IMPACT organizations exceptionally dedicated toward the advancement of women last year.
The university contacted The Corp, the Georgetown University Student Association, the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union and the Blue and Gray Tour Guide Society to promote this new initiative, according to Olivia Hinerfeld (SFS ’17), chair of social impact on the board of directors for The Corp.
Bank of America Women and the Economy Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security Andrew Walker (SFS ’16), said student support for gender equality is critical to ensuring success.
“Part of our goal in collaborating with student organizations is to empower a parallel student movement related to the commitments that President DeGioia made at the institutional level,” Walker wrote in an email to The Hoya. “As a university, our students make us unique in how we contribute to the encouragement of gender equality around the world.”
As part of its participation in the Georgetown iteration of the initiative, The Corp will host a series of events with a gender equality theme, including film screenings and a Congressional phone-a-thon. The Corp will also make donations to women’s programs on campus.
Hinerfeld said The Corp made three main goals for its HoyasForShe initiative: women’s mentorship, health and education.
The Corp has planned daily activities and fundraisers relating to female empowerment next week, according to Hinerfeld.
These activities include a screening of the documentary “Misrepresentation” Monday night in the Healey Family Student Center, an open mic event Tuesday night at Uncommon Grounds, a wage gap education bake sale Wednesday in the Leavey Center and a Wednesday night phone-a-thon at Midnight Mug, where students can call their representatives in Congress about gender issues they care about.
The Corp will also provide resources such as menstrual health products at prominent university locations.
“We are donating $2,000 to place six dispensaries in Regents Hall and the Leavey Center bathrooms, and that will be coming in the next few weeks,” Hinerfeld said.
Hinerfeld said The Corp is focusing not just on educating Georgetown students about these issues, but also on promoting gender equity within its own organization. The Corp has launched a new mentorship initiative to encourage female employees to rise to leadership positions.
“One thing we’ve been doing in the last month is launching a professional leadership development mentorship program,” Hinerfeld said. “Our hope is to connect employees to older class years and younger class years across all different services to help them foster different networks and connections.”
Hinerfeld said The Corp has a new, clearer sexual misconduct policy, hoping other student groups use the new policy as a guide.
“We also have developed a new sexual misconduct policy, and this is something we’re now developing an infographic for, so we can both better educate our employees and also share this with other student organizations,” Hinerfeld said. “Something I personally have seen is a lot of clubs don’t have a specific protocol on how to address a sexual assault when it happens in their organization.”
Outgoing Corp Chief Operating Officer Alexandra Donovan (SFS ’17) said The Corp’s HoyasForShe initiative also led to addressing internal gender inequity.
“It was something we casually talked about, and then when we got serious about HoyasForShe, we really got serious about it,” Donovan said. “It was a good chance to formalize what we talked about it, because it always gets tossed around in meetings, and we all know it is important, but I don’t know if we would have launched this mentorship program without HoyasForShe.”
Hinerfeld said she hopes the HoyasForShe week has a larger impact on the Georgetown community.
“Our hope is that it will be pretty comprehensive, and in some way touch every student on campus to get them passionate about this project, and show that this is not something The Corp is just doing for a week,” Hinerfeld said. “This is something we are making a commitment to into the future.”
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