Because She Did, We Can

Monica Flickinger, Staff Writer

The Women’s Center and Women’s Studies program at California University of Pennsylvania hosted a weeklong event titled “Because She Did, We Can” to bring attention to the upcoming election on Nov. 8.

Monday Oct. 31 through Friday Nov. 4 students from the Women’s Center and Women’s Studies Program came together to collaborate on events, in hopes of educating students on campus.

Each day from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., a table was set up in the food court of the Natali Student Center. Members of Her Campus Cal U, an organization on campus, participated in the informative tabling. The purpose of the table was to increase voter awareness on the presidential candidate’s stances on a broad range of political issues, especially those relating to women’s rights.

“It’s a great experience- learning about who is going to be leading not just our country but also making the key decisions for our state,” said student Kelsey Haught.

The table featured posters of each candidate as well as information the candidate’s stances. Information was also provided on the vice presidential candidates as well as those running for Pennsylvania Senate

“If you really think about it, Katie McGinty and Pat Toomey are the face of our entire education system because they’re running for a pretty significant spot for our state government,” said Haught. “They make a lot of key decisions for our state”

Additionally, the week was used to spotlight the history of voting rights in our nation. Posters were put up all around the campus with pictures of women who were key to the suffrage movement which led to the creation of the nineteenth amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Laura Tuennerman, a history professor at Cal U, spoke on Tuesday to an introductory women’s studies class as part of the weeks events. She encouraged students to use their voting rights in the coming week. She discussed a history of voter rights, specifically those that pertain to females.

Tuennerman not only spoke about the movements that led us to where we are today as a nation in regards to voting, but she also spoke about the importance of acknowledging that right.

“Your right to vote is hard won,” said Tuennerman to the room full of students. “You owe it to the people of the past to vote.”

Some female students agree with Tuennerman. Kate Wankel, a Cal U sophomore said that it’s important to understand what you are really voting for.

“It’s important to be educated on this topic and to be able to make the right decision for yourself,” said Wankel. “You do have a say, your vote matters. So many times you think you’re young and that it’s just one vote but it matters.”

Rachael McKriger, a student at Cal U, offers a unique perspective to what the importance of voting means to her. She says that having a mixed group of people’s opinions is valuable.

“Since I’m a dual citizen and I had a father in a country that doesn’t allow women to vote, it’s pretty important,” said McKriger. “If I would’ve stayed in Russia I wouldn’t have been able to vote so I wouldn’t have had this experience.”