National Women’s History Month is a time for the people of the United States to recognize and honor women’s many accomplishments, at present and throughout history. So, The Mercury reached out to some of the dynamic leaders on campus to see what student organizations are doing to empower women.
The American Medical Women’s Association is one of the most prominent organizations for women at UTD, having become one of the largest and most active organizations on campus in just two years. President Afaf Nabeeha, a healthcare leadership & management senior, and her Vice President Ashwini Bhat, a neuroscience senior, used this annual observance to highlight women in a series of “Tuesday Takeover Talks” online, host a bake sale on March 23 and participate in volunteer events supporting Girl Inc., a nonprofit for Dallas women in need.
They hope to have all of these events funnel into a banquet on April 11 meant to highlight the success of women, which will be open to all UTD students and organizations. This invitation could mark the first official gathering for all on-campus women organizations, which Bhat said would be a monumental step in campus history that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of National Women’s History Month.
“[We want to create] a space where you will not be ignored, you will not be alone, we will always have interactive opportunities and events to make friends and build this community,” Nabeeha said.
Another organization, Women in Technology & Business, aims to prepare women of all colors and identities for success in the male-dominated industries of technology and business. Their Vice President Bianca Chandwani, an ITS major, described the organization as an encouraging community. Now, WITB plans to expand on this relationship by hosting an open panel highlighting the success of women in internships and other opportunities on March 9.
“Different board members in different industries [will be] talking about their experiences, what made them successful and what they prepared for to be successful or what they struggled with,” Chandwani said.
These two major organizations are leading women’s empowerment across campus, but they are far from the only ones. There are dozens of other unique and exceptional clubs, sororities and other organizations striving to empower and provide support to women, and they can easily be found online. Additionally, UTD regularly provides programs and talks across campus with the help of the Galerstein Gender Center, Institutional Diversity Initiatives and other organizations, both online and in-person. In the past, our campus has provided watch parties, training and safe zones – returning this month – to welcome women and give a sense of community.
As we celebrate the history of women this month, it shouldn’t take away from the women making history today and working for a stronger tomorrow in our campus body. Every day, women are advancing in their field and changing the world—and a lot of those women will start right here at UTD. Chandwani expressed this sentiment best.
“If you’re feeling disempowered with anything going on, there will always be women to support you,” she said.