By Jackie Delaney
The Student Finance Board allocated $25,735 for well-known activist Gloria Steinem to speak on campus and received requests including fall holiday celebrations and a cruise for the sophomore class, at their weekly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
The Women’s Center requested the funds to bring famous feminist organizer, writer and political activist Steinem to campus. Steinem, best known for her work as a leader and spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late ’60s and early ’70s, has a wide range of accolades.
In 1968, Steinem helped to found New York magazine, and in 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine. She has travelled internationally as a speaker and activist, and she is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, by President Obama. Currently, she is working on a book about her experience as a feminist organizer, in which she has more than 30 years of experience, according to the event proposal.
“She is such a well-known figure, not only in the feminist movement, but in just, social equality movements,” said Jennie Sekanics, president of the Women’s Center and co-executive chair of Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL).
At the College, Steinem will “speak about prevailing barriers to equality — including what she called a ‘backlash’ against reproductive freedom — and will argue that changing the paradigms around work and gender would benefit both men and women,” according to the information packet.
The event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Kendall Hall. Co-sponsors include the provost, the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and WILL.
Hillel also presented to the board with a request for $175 to fund its event for Sukkot, a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated in September. According to the information packet, Sukkot “is a harvest festival that commemorates the 40 years that the children of Israel were wandering the desert.”
The organization requested funding for pumpkins as well as supplies for the event, which is held in the sukkah — a structure built in front of the Social Sciences Building every year. SFB fully funded the event, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3.
The last request of the meeting was for $9,914.40 for a sophomore class moonlight cruise, hosted by the sophomore class council. After the council’s freshman formal last year “wasn’t as successful” as they hoped, they looked into an event that would “set it apart from anything else,” according to the information packet. A cruise on the Delaware River, they thought, would do this.
The board, however, was concerned with attendance, especially for a ticketed event. Attendance would be capped at 150 people, with each ticket priced at $39.90 per person. If the attendance goal was not met, SFB would still be required to pay the amount for 150 guests. The cruise was scheduled for 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. With these concerns in mind, the cruise was zero funded by the board, which means the sophomore class council cannot return and present for another cruise event.