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New Club Aims to Create Safe Space for Students

By Isabella Bravo
Copy-Editor | The Pacific Times

Women’s Empowerment Club is a new group at NP3 that aims to create a safe environment for women and non-binary students on campus. The club meets every other Thursday at lunch in O-3.

The club was started by Krista Chouang and Aarthi Vijayarajah.

Vijayarajah was inspired to start this club because she wanted to create a safe space “dedicated to letting people feel free to speak about their opinions on certain topics and be listened to without being shut down or prevented from saying what’s on their minds.”

“Whenever I would start a conversation with somebody about feminism or issues that are happening in our community I would be told to change the topic or something along the lines of that,” says Vijayarajah.

Chouang comments that “There are moments in my life where I think ‘wow this wouldn’t (have happened to me if I was a man).’ This struggle I experience is because I am a woman. It’s really cool to see others relate to that struggle, as much as we shouldn’t have to, but it’s cool to bond over that with other people.”

Advisor of Women’s Empowerment Club, Sasha Guzman says that the club is important to her. “I think women, and specifically women of color, are often dismissed and nurtured to be submissive.” She believes it’s important for young women to be vocal, independent, and empowered. “It’s always felt like my moral obligation to be an example of that for young women in my classes.”

The club holds discussions during their biweekly meetings about social issues affecting women around the world. By creating a safe space for women to discuss shared social issues, they feel they can bond as a club and promote self-love, activism, and healthy relationships.

Vijayarajah says that they will continuously create a safe space “by establishing norms such as, what is said during our discussion will stay in our discussion. We are also mindful about others’ experiences and feelings and we want those in our club to let their voices be heard.”

Chouang adds, “We want to make it as comfortable as a place as possible for you to open up and talk about things you can’t normally talk about in the presence of people who may judge you.”

Women’s Empowerment Club asks that male-identifying students not join. “Although we don’t allow males to be present, we absolutely welcome them as allies. It really is just meant to be an emotional and mentally safe space for women to be with one another and to share their experiences,” says Guzman.

For more information, contact Krista Chouang ([email protected]) and Aarthi Vijayarajah ([email protected]).

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