Sarah Parker, ’Doah Staff Writer
February 6, 2013
Shenandoah University offers many ways for students to reach out to others around campus and the surrounding community. Some volunteer, while others form relationships through intramural sports. With the new women’s organization LIBERATE, students have one more way to get involved.
Dr. Amy Sarch, a women’s studies and mass communications professor, along with an executive board consisting of six female members formed the group. The name, LIBERATE, is an acronym for ladies issuing and bringing encouragement, recognition, awareness, talks and empowerment. It is somewhat similar to the group Men at Shenandoah (MASH), wherein both work to do good in their communities. However, LIBERATE’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness on gender role issues at S.U. and in the Winchester community.
“The main thing about LIBERATE is that we’re an open group that will bring any issue that anyone is very passionate about and comes to us with, and we will help them in any way,” said member Mariagarcia “MG” Rivas Berger. The group has already been active on campus with their purple ribbon campaign for Sexual Awareness Month, as well as teaming up with Sarch’s FYS class to write over 140 letters to Sister Somalia, a nonprofit organization that helps women who have been raped and abused by providing counseling and medical care in Somalia.
LIBERATE is also busy at work preparing for One Billion Rising, a revolution for people against rape and sexual assault, which is being done in conjunction with V-Day. The details of the first major event is being kept tightly under wraps, but will happen at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, in the Brandt Student Center. The group will also be having a “Girls on the Run” film festival on Friday, Feb. 22, in the Stimpson Auditorium in Halpin-Harrison Hall. Tickets will be sold for $5 and will be on sale in the Brandt Student Center.
LIBERATE is open to anyone and welcomes any and all students. For more information about the organization or any upcoming events, you can contact Sarch at firstname.lastname@example.org, Berger at email@example.com or Elizabeth Britton at firstname.lastname@example.org.