Women's studies sufferage walk

Kristina Wyman's picture
Caitlin Pierson

On October 17th, Assumption College’s Women’s Studies Club hosted a Silent March to commemorate the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Starting from the Testa Atrium, students and faculty walked around campus as a tribute to the suffragists who fought for the right to vote in the 1910s. Each participant held a yellow rose, a symbol of the movement.
The purpose of the Silent March was to emulate the peaceful protests that took place during the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Participants did not shout in protest, but rather walked quietly from start to finish. Participants were encouraged to sing along to the song “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” which was featured in the 2004 movie Iron Jawed Angels. The movie is a historical drama that showcases the nonviolent protest methods suffragists used during the 1910s, and it provided the foundation upon which this event was built.
“The hope was that students and faculty would get inspired to vote in the upcoming election,” said senior and Club President Francesca McMenemy about her goals for the event and the club as a whole. “It also marked the revival of the Women’s Studies Club…We hope that the March inspired students, faculty and staff to become involved in our club [and to] learn about women’s issues.”
After the March, Penny Marston from the Worcester League of Women Voters gave a talk about the history of women suffragists, the work that the League does on the state and national levels and how students and faculty can get involved. Penny, who has been involved with the League for over 15 years, spoke to her audience about how the League of Women Voters is an organization that was born out of the suffrage movement, and what the League does for citizens now. She emphasized the importance of voting in noting the work she does to help newly naturalized Americans register. Penny was available at the end of the event to assist any students with registration.
At the end of her speech, Penny Marston opened the floor to questions from the audience. With the media firestorm brought on by the 2016 Presidential Election, it was no surprise that questions about the Twitter phenomenon, “#Appealthe19th” arose.
“I learned that there were women against the women’s right to vote in the 1910s, and there are still women today who are against that right. I found that to be totally bizarre,” said Junior Sarah Clancy about what she took away from the event. When asked about her reason for participating, Clancy stated:
“I wanted to show my solidarity with the women who fought for our right to vote less than 100 years ago and help to draw attention to how heinous it is that it had to be an issue at all.”
The Women’s Studies March encouraged all members of the Assumption community to join in commemoration. Guys and girls alike came to support the event, demonstrating the importance of gender integration in the Women’s Studies field. The Women’s Studies Club would like to thank everyone who made it to the event, especially Mrs. Cesareo for coming to show her support. The March would not have been possible without the help of Curry Printing, Berg Florist, Keating Enterprises, Inc., EG Collins, Sergeant SanMartino, Sergeant/Detective Gagne and club Advisor Christine Keating.
Women’s Studies Club meets on Tuesdays in Founders 214 at 7:00 p.m. and all students are welcome to join. For more information, contact club President Francesca McMenemy at francesca.mcmenemy@assumption.edu.

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