Every day last week, the Goshen Student Women and Non-Binary Association (GSWA) hosted events on campus including nights with guest speakers, evenings of difficult conversations and mornings of yoga and relaxation for the GC student body.
These events kicked off a new year of activities for GSWA, a club under new direction this semester.
Heather Gabel, Emmy Rupp and Josefina Castillo, all juniors, took on leadership roles of the club. They look forward to heading events on campus to support women and non-binary students.
The leaders are looking to continue what GSWA has done in the past, including “uplifting voices that aren’t heard as often,” Gabel said.
However, in recent years, the club has seen a decrease in members as meetings have gone down in size and overall interest has declined.
“I could look at [the declining interest] and say that there is no longer a need for an organization like GSWA on campus,” Rupp said. “But, to me, it really means that there are needs on campus that GSWA could be meeting but isn’t and hasn’t been.”
Rupp and others are looking to better meet the needs of those on campus this semester and going forward.
“I think the best way to start on that journey of meeting students where they are is by offering safe spaces as well informational events that are led by the interests and real issues students face on this campus,” Rupp said.
According to Rupp, topics being tackled by GSWA include “the negative ways women in leadership are perceived, healthy relationship-building and the history of the incredible women and non-binary women who came before us who created the space that we could start having more of these kinds of conversations.”
Goals of the club come in many different forms throughout the semester, including Bad Theater for a Good Cause, happening Nov. 3, where feminine hygiene products will be collected at the door. This is in collaboration with the GC Players, GC’s student theater board.
Over the next two weeks, GSWA will be taking additional donations of feminine hygiene products, which will be donated to the Elkhart YWCA domestic violence shelter. Donation bins can be found in Westlawn Dining Hall, Java Junction and the Leaf Raker.