NSU’s branch of the American Association of University Women, or the AAUW, will hold events and meetings beginning Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the DeSantis Atrium from 12-1. Students and professional men and women will have the opportunity to come and learn about what the AAUW is doing on NSU’s campus, as well as get involved with leadership positions or mentoring programs.
The AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a whole community since 1881, according to their website. The association supports women through a variety of initiatives, including teaching them financial literacy, leveling the playing field for girls and women in STEM, advocating for public policy, fostering global connections and much more.
“Our branch on campus mentors college women and high school girls at risk. We do other community services to promote awareness,” explained Randi Sims, professor and faculty with the college of business at NSU. “For gender equity issues, we do some pay equity events on campus also. This is a national organization and there are branches across the country.” AAUW NSU also focuses mainly on the issue of equal pay, and promoting the education university women need in order to properly negotiate a salary that reflects their capabilities.
On NSU’s campus, the AAUW holds an International Women’s Day colloquium. The theme for last year’s event was “Press for Progress,” which aimed to promote awareness of gender equity within students’ respective fields of study and employment. In addition, the branch also supports the Undergraduate Student Symposium with an AAUW award to honor students who have conducted research or created a film around the subject of women’s issues.
Contrary to the name, not only women are invited to join the organization. “[Women] didn’t become unequally treated by ourselves— we’re not going to be able to correct it by ourselves,” expressed Sims. “It’s a long history going back hundred and hundreds of years. We didn’t start it, and we can’t fix it [alone].”
Any students that would like to get involved with opportunities to promote awareness of equality across genders are encouraged to reach out. “People who are specifically interested in equity issues, learning more about promoting awareness [should join the organization],” said Sims. “Most people think that things are fine, when the research indicates that it’s not.”