Starting Tuesday, Nov. 7, juniors Danielle Corrao and Bridget Mulrooney and senior Karen D’Agnostino will be hosting a three part workshop series dealing with women’s issues. The first workshop will be held on Tues. Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Sykes room 210. The first topic will be on Sexual Health and STI Awareness, where Chrissy Bushyager, from WCU’s Health and Wellness Center, and Lisa Fraser will discuss how women can keep themselves sexually healthy. This program will also discuss preventive methods for STI/STDs with one main focus being on assertive communication.
The second workshop will be held the following Thursday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 in Sykes room 252. This workshop will focus on Sexual Assault and Harassment. Robin Garrett from the WCU Women’s Center and Sargent Detective Matt Paris of WCU’s Public Safety will conduct this program with the aim of making women aware of what sexual assault/harassment really is. This workshop will also include practical tips about how to avoid being a target.
The third and final workshop in this three part series will held on Wedneday Nov. 15 at 7:15 in Sykes room 255 and will deal with Body Image and Media Issues. During this workshop, Dr. Deanne Zotter-Bonifazi, WCU psychology professor and supervisor for the Sister to Sister mentoring program, will discuss how and why women get negative body images. She will also discuss methods to go about improving one’s own body image. There will be an interactive discussion and movie during this workshop.
These workshops are open for anyone to come, not just women. First year students are targeted in these programs. “We really encourage all first year females who may not have had the opportunity to experience workshops like these before to attend,” started Corrao. “There will also be free food and giveaways at every workshop,” she added with a laugh.
The trio of Corrao, Mulrooney and D’Agnostino decided to hold these three workshops shortly after attending a women’s leadership institute this past summer at the McKeever Environmental center in Sandy Lake, Pa. At this institute, they learned about issues dealing with women and how to become a female leader and role model in their campus community and beyond.
As a requirement of this attending this institute, Corrao, Mulrooney and D’Agnostino had to return to WCU and plan a program or project, with the only requirement being that it to help women students in some way. The three of them collectively decided to hold a three part program dealing with sexual health, sexual assault and harassment, and body image and media issues. “We felt that these were issues that affect college-aged women the most,” stated D’Agnostino. They discussed women’s issues with other women at the institute and most were in agreement with how important these issues were in today’s society.
Corrao added, “These are all very personal issues to us, things that we’ve dealt with. We figured if we had to deal with them, then these are issues other women on campus have probably dealt with as well.”
“We want to make the programs as inclusive as possible so that the issues being presented were issues that all types of women were affected by. Talking about these issues can be so powerful,” said Mulrooney.
The leadership conference was a good experience for everyone that attended. “It was seriously one of the best experiences of my life. You wouldn’t think being stranded in the middle of nowhere with 30 girls would be that exciting, but it was so much fun,” said D’Agnostino of the program.
Each year, three female students are chosen to represent West Chester University at the women’s leadership institute. This past year’s institute was held from July 23 through July 28. Women from all the of the state schools were present.
To attend this conference, one most apply and then be chosen by a selected panel. For more information on how to apply or simply on the program, contact Charlier Warner, who was “one of the biggest helps throughout this whole process,” stated D’Agnostino. “Junior communications major and leadership consultant Megan Dickman was also a good resource. We couldn’t have done it without them,” added D’Agnostino.