Last Tuesday, over 200 men and women at the University of Virginia gathered to walk in the University’s March for Women led by the Inter-Sorority Council. The march began at the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life in Newcomb Hall and continued to circle Rugby Road, finally ending at the steps of Mr. Jefferson’s Rotunda.
The outgoing ISC board cultivated the idea for the march when they realized that the National March for women’s rights in Washington D.C. conflicted with sorority recruitment. Outgoing President Claire Creighton said that the event “was a way to be united as a community for women’s rights.” She believed that the event would create an inclusive environment for everyone at the University who was unable to travel to D.C. to express their views.
Both incoming and outgoing ISC board members worked in partnership with all four class councils, the UVa Women’s Center, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the Kappa Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in a collective effort to create a march similar to the ones that took place across the world on January 21st, 2017.
While Tuesday gathered hundreds of students, it was much smaller in comparison to the crowd of over 500,000 people who took to the streets of D.C., according to ABC News. However, the event’s purpose was not to try to compete with the larger marches but simply offer anyone a chance to be a part of change.
Other opportunities during the event that raised awareness for women’s rights included signing a large banner and allowing students to write letters to their senators which would be mailed free of cost.
Incoming ISC President Rory Finnegan believes this event is different from the march in D.C. in that it does not carry a political agenda with it.
“It is just to support women’s rights, inclusivity, and positivity, in the hope of having more people to come out and participate and bring the UVa community together,” Finnegan said.
She believes that an event like this one is just the beginning in raising awareness.
“Showing support for women’s rights aligns with our ideals,” Finnegan said. Moving forward into the next year as president, Finnegan would like to continue to show support for the rights of women.