Feminist Organizations at UCLA
Looking to get more involved in the movement? Want to meet students who care about gender equality just as much as you? Here are four groups on campus that might interest you:
The Clothesline Project is a student-led group of allies and survivors of sexual violence who focus on raising awareness and campaigning against gender violence on college campuses and the greater Los Angeles community. During mid-May, trees near Schoenberg Hall are strewn with rainbows of colorfully painted t-shirts. The annual Clothesline Project event is a three-day silent protest during which sexual assault survivors decorate t-shirts to raise awareness about the stark numbers of sexual assaults that have affected UCLA students. “The t-shirts are a creative way for survivors to express themselves,” said Monique Sowinski, former Fem intern and current president of the Clothesline Project. Clothesline’s collection also includes t-shirts made by survivors from the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center and YWCA in Long Beach. Founded twelve years ago, Clothesline retains eight members and welcomes students who are enthusiastic and passionate about social justice for sexual violence. In their weekly meetings, they foster discussions regarding sexual consent and publicize community events that aim to thwart the high numbers of assault in Los Angeles. Look out for this year’s Clothesline and their annual “Take Back the Night” event during spring quarter.
Want to get involved with the Clothesline Project? Contact them at [email protected].
Gamma Rho Lambda
Gamma Rho Lambda (GRL) is UCLA’s first multi-interest women’s progressive and LGBTQQIAA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally) sorority. GRL was initiated in Spring 2010 by five women who envisioned a supportive and inclusive sisterhood for women and LGBTQQIAA-identified students interested in Greek Life. The sorority emphasizes community leadership, activism and service. “GRL changes you and helps you grow. It is something I look forward to. Through all the blood, sweat, and tears, this organization has supported and enforced my growth as a woman,” said current president Darlene Tran. Consisting of eleven members, GRL’s past events include activism in the Vote for Equality Fair Education Act, volunteer work at the fall Queer Studies Conference and their quarterly Dirty Pudding Cup fundraisers. GRL also holds rush events and social events at the beginning of each quarter. “Not only are we professional and progressive, but we are also very social and a lot of fun together,” said public relations officer Minerva Esquivel.
If you are interested in rushing or getting involved with Gamma Rho Lambda, visit www.gammarholambda.org or e-mail them at [email protected].
What do you get when you fuse public affairs, social justice and feminism? The Feminist Caucus! Affiliated with the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Feminist Caucus is a non-hierarchical and student-run organization. It is composed of graduate students interested in gender issues pertaining to social welfare, urban planning and public policy. Feminist Caucus aims to create an inclusive academic community, to advocate for social justice for marginalized populations and to contribute to building a politically, socially and economically just world through feminist scholarship. Founded in Spring 2011, the caucus started with peer pedagogy groups in which members would bring feminist theory, literature, policy and law reviews to meetings and discuss how feminist theories could be incorporated into their professional practice. About ten to fifteen graduate students meet once a quarter to discuss upcoming events and ways to connect more with other undergraduate feminist organizations. Their past events include an open-mic night with the Black and Asian Pacific Island caucuses and a “How-to Make-a-Zine” workshop.
If you are interested in joining or learning more about UCLA’s Feminist Caucus, contact them at [email protected].
Bruin Feminists for Equality
If you are looking for a place on campus to talk about all things feminist, look no further than Bruin Feminists for Equality. Every week, this group meets to discuss a wide array of feminist issues ranging from gendered violence to the representation of gender in the media. According to Wendy Liu, a current board member and fourth-year women’s studies student, the Bruin Feminists pride themselves on their history of being nonhierarchical. She insisted that everyone gets to play the role that they want as the feminists learn from each other and work to become a bigger presence on campus. They also do a lot of work in the community, ranging from informing the public about the misleading nature of the photographs some anti-choice groups post around campus to working with LA for Choice, an organization that works with abortion clinics to protect clients from protestors. Past events include organizing this year’s “The Vagina Monologues” and screening “Miss Representation.”
If you are interested in joining or learning more about Bruin Feminists for Equality, contact them at [email protected].
Photo of the Clothesline Project courtesy of Monique Sowinski.