This past semester, Student Government, Inc. (SGI) approved Feminists Unite (F.U.) as an official organization. The group underwent the application process, called Power to Organize, and was ultimately approved by the SGI Organizations Committee after two rounds of presentations.
Feminists Unite, founded by its current president Stephanie Aliaga, has been in operation for over one year with the aim of establishing a space to discuss issues and provide education pertaining to gender equality. The group previously held meetings and events by using empty classrooms and booking spaces through the Women’s and Gender Studies department.
F.U.’s newfound status means they will have access to booking rooms for events and will be able to advertise upcoming activities around campus. Thus far, the organization has done the bulk of its advertisement through social media and word of mouth.
“Being approved has made it easier to publicize our club,” F.U.’s secretary Yovanna Roa-Reyes said. “Before that our posters were always getting taken down, but it never stopped us from having meetings … Now we can do the same thing as before except freely and without having to worry that someone is going to report us or stop our meeting.”
Aliaga believes that F.U.’s previous status as an unofficial organization prevented both potential and existing members from feeling fully comfortable with attending meetings.
“People who didn’t know about F.U. will feel more welcome to join since we’re official,” Aliaga said. “Also [this recognition] gives F.U. a chance to grow in the future when our e-board graduates and is passed on to our new members.”
The recognition of the organization does not entail a budget. According to Roa-Reyes, F.U. is planning on fundraising through sales of F.U. merchandise as well as baked goods.
F.U.’s plans as an official organization entail expanding their original mission of promoting gender equality on campus.
“I want to bring awareness to women’s struggles outside of the U.S. I also want to diversify the topics that we do. We are a feminist organization, but there are other minorities that we can bring awareness to,” Roa-Reyes said.
Other organizations that became officially recognized include TEDx, UNICEF Campus Initiative, Women on Wall Street and the Physician Assistant Association.