by Raneen El-Barbarawi / Staff Reporter
As the sight of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes drew in the interest of many people, RU’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapter decided to inform others on the importance of consent, as well as the opening of its new chapter on campus with this event.
Ciela Acala, 21, a junior majoring in women and gender studies, explained that she’s the president and co-founder of this organization. She stays in contact with Planned Parenthood and organizes all the events to make sure everything is running smoothly.
“We wanted to make a change on campus. We wanted to make sure people had information on resources for birth control and just reproductive health in general,” said Acala, adding that they started “RU Gen Action” this semester but have been working on it since last fall.
“There are a lot of women who don’t have access to birth control, they can’t afford it, they don’t have insurance and I feel like having this on campus will really help out a lot,” said Acala.
“I think it’s important because the WGS majors talk a lot about issues and it’s nice to have a club where we have that space to do advocacy work around those issues,” said Andrea Ruiz, 19, a sophomore sustainability studies major and the vice president of RU Gen Action.
Acala then explained that the goals of the organization are to educate people, provide services and help out students in any way that they can.
“Hopefully, we change the vibe we have around abortion and birth control because it’s seen as demonic and that it shouldn’t be something that exists in society. But it should be something that is accepted because sex happens everywhere and it happens pretty frequently, so the physical and mental aspects of sex should be talked more about,” said Acala, adding that they’re also working on starting their campaign toward social justice and having it done by fall 2020.
Annie Warshaw, a professor of women and gender studies, is the faculty advisor of the organization and is there to “lend support and review new ideas — which she thinks are phenomenal.”
Warshaw also explained that she put out the idea of starting a Planned Parenthood Generation Action on campus, and Acala and Ruiz then reached out to her.
“I think they understand this organization gives them the platform to do this,” said Warshaw. “It gives them the opportunity to learn how to be leaders and do community outreach. I just want to support my students and continue to bridge what they’re learning in the classroom to actual advocacy. I’m very excited to see the outcomes.”
However, Acala and Ruiz explained that their biggest issue is trying to get students to join their organization. “I feel that we have a big turnout when it comes to events, but we’re still trying to get people to join the organization as well,” said Acala. “Our goal is to get as many people as possible; we want to grow so we want to throw events to get people interested in the club,” Ruiz added.
In fact, they explained that they have biweekly meetings on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in Auditorium 680, the gender justice space. Their next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 25.
“I hope people join this organization,” said Warshaw.