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New first-year program created to empower women

By EMILY NELSON

Resident Assistants Michaela Friedeck and Abbie Gartland created a program at the beginning of this semester in Carpenter Residence Hall called Women Wednesdays to try and give first-year women a supportive space to discuss issues relating to college life with their peers.

The program started when Friedeck and Gartland looked back on their time being first years and how they needed more support in their friend groups and residence halls.

“We both kind of struggled with various issues with friends or boys, all that type of stuff our first year, so we know what our residents are going through,” Friedeck said.

Carpenter’s RAs know how difficult the transition from high school to college can be, and they wanted their residents to have a group of other women to ask questions or talk to about any problems that may be going on in their lives.

Past topics in Women Wednesdays related to building self-confidence, creating self-love, dating and friendships. In the future, Friedeck and Gartland plan on talking about body image, balancing academics and social life and love.

“I really think it’s important to talk about a lot of the topics we cover because its normal things that we all deal with on a daily basis but never really confront head on,” Friedeck said.

Besides having a large group of peers to get advice from, Women Wednesdays strives to give girls more confidence in knowing that they aren’t alone in their struggles.

“It’s really important to show these women that everybody’s going through something and if we all talk to each other about it and how to get through it, it shows we aren’t alone,” Gartland said. “It helps us get through things easier.”

First year Delaney Malone has been going to each meeting and believes that they’re beneficial to women.

Her favorite activity was when each person wrote down their insecurities and shared them in smaller groups.

“Once we talked about what we’re nervous about or fearful of, it showed us all that we all worried about the same things in one way or another,” Malone said.

Besides giving her more confidence, Women Wednesdays has given Malone more comfort in knowing that she doesn’t need to be alone in her struggles.

“It’s definitely a great support network because it’s a reminder that we go through the same things,” Malone said. “You can never judge a book by its cover because we’re all more similar than we think.”

Friedeck’s only wish is that girls come into Women Wednesdays with an open mind and utilize what the program can do for them

“I hope they learn about being more understanding with their peers and the women that surround them in their daily life,” Friedeck said. “I want them to grow into the women that they always wanted to be when they were younger.”

Women Wednesdays are held 8 p.m. each Wednesday night in the classroom in Carpenter’s basement and are open to all women.

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