Feminist Leaders On Campus host first event for women's empowerment week


Students participate in the Paint your Orgasm activity during the Feminist Leaders on Campus 'it's not weird' event on Nov. 14 at Finch Fieldhouse. 

The Feminist Leaders On Campus (FLOC) RSO held its first event Monday in a week long series of events celebrating women's empowerment.

The event 'It's Not That Weird' was from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14 in Finch Fieldhouse.

The event started with a presentation about sexual empowerment and feeling connected to your own intimacy. The slideshow included diagrams on women anatomy, statics on women's orgasms, different sex toys and more.

"The goal of this event was to bring the sexual education that you may not have gotten in high school to a college campus and allow it to be a very safe space for people to learn about stuff that can be kinda awkward to talk about sometimes," Social Chair sophomore Kaitlin Otteman said.

After the presentation, students had the option of visiting four different information tables. Two tables talked about BDSM and racism in the sex industry while Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA) and ETA Sigma Gamma were there for more information.

The ETA Sigma Gamma table had a spin the wheel activity where if you answered the question right the prize was a Wear One campaign packet. In the packet was a condom, an STI test kit and coupons.

Vice President of Education senior Alexia Swanson said it was important to table at the event again because it helps educate students on sexual empowerment while also practicing it safely.

President of Education senior Lorena Morgan agreed with Swanson and said that she feels that awareness is one of the best ways for prevention of STI's and pregnancy and that sometimes people in the dorms don't have access to methods of preventing pregnancy. 

"Making sure people are just aware of what services are in our community, whether that be on campus or even the health department like you can get condoms and lube sent to your door for free," Morgan said. "So like making sure people know that they're available."

Wear One packets are available at Wayside and in every dorm hall on campus.

Senior general member Serena Keller ran the BDSM table. She said she wanted there to be a place to educate people where they can ask questions and feel comfortable to make people more aware and understanding.

"It's a whole nother world and I think more people should talk about it because people see it as violent, abusive and non consensual, and it can be done that way but if it's done properly it can be a really beautiful thing," Keller said.

Raffle tickets were also given out at each table where students had the chance to win a $25 gift card to Bellesa Boutique or the book Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown.

"Societally I think that women are sexually repressed...we're never really given this education just because it was seen as taboo to talk about it," Activism Chair senior Julia Burkholder said. "I feel like purity culture has so much of an effect on how we give our sexual education in America and not every school system is created equal."

Junior general member Makayla Osborn agreed with Burkholder and said she liked how the event centered around women's pleasure.

"Women's pleasure is not prioritized in sex and having these kinds of conversations can help center it around that," Osborn said.

Students also had the option to participate in activities like paint your orgasm and pin the clit on the vulva. 

"West Michigan is a fairly conservative area, It's very much abstinence based and if you have sex you'll die," sophomore general member Rhiannon Fall said. "This is definitely a really good opportunity to kind of touch off on my knowledge about sex and sexual health. And kind of engage in the CMU community and talk a bit about sexual health and how it relates to like racism and the health professions in general just to see how much it intersects with our everyday life and why it's important."

Freshmen general member Jocelynne Moore said she thinks it's important to learn about sex because it's something that a lot of schools lack.

"Truthfully, I learned things tonight that I didn't expect to come here to learn, so there's just always more learning you can do especially in the topic of sexual health just because it's such a limited resource that especially young people need but don't have," Moore said.

Senior general member Crystal Vanoeffelen said her favorite part of the event was the presentation because when she went to a private Christian school she was taught to not think about her body sexually.

"I like the presentation because it's really nice hearing people talk about the anatomy in an information kind of way instead of shameful or degrading," Vanoeffelen said.

The next event, a FLOCumentary Screening, is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Anspach room 161.

To attend any other events apart of women's empowerment week visit FLOC's instagram @floc_cmu.