Group champions feminism on campus

In honor of Women’s History Month, Peer Advocates for Change recently set up tables in the Campus Center to display the different options students have when it comes to things like unhealthy relationship, STI awareness and testing, predatory drugs, feminism and sexual abuse.
The Rutland Regional Medical Center had a representative discussing options for their Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. Registered SANE nurse and Castleton grad, Pam Poalino discussed the process of what should be done when a sexual assault takes place. She said a kit needs to be put together in case the person decides to press charges.
“You are one on one with a nurse, it usually takes four to five hours,” Poalino said.
Poalino said that when deciding to come to the hospital, victims are given many options after an assault takes place. Students can report the assault, get tested for STD’s and even get services including counseling. She said it is always the person’s choice to report the assault and if they chose to do so it would have to be within six months. Poalino said there are about 35 to 40 cases a year.
“We work as a team with the sexual assault team in Rutland. It’s nice to be connected to outside resources. A lot of students have been assisted by them,” said Wellness Center Director Martha Coulter.
Planned Parenthood had a booth with information about women’s and men’s healthcare, especially STI testing.
“We have a grant through the state of Vermont so some people without insurance can get STI tests for free,” Planned Parenthood representative Carla Stewart said.
Stewart also talked about services that they offer for pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, abortion and even adoption.
Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelters representative Addie Gledding spoke about the services and opportunities her agency offers.
“We have a lot of volunteer services, healthy relationship checks, check yourself ‘sexist jokes’, predatory drug testing and help with physical or sexual assault, such as advocating for you in a school setting, getting restraining orders, new locks, flood lights or other stuff,” Gledding said.
PAC also held a bake sale to raise money.
“The money is going to the women’s shelter in Rutland,” said Kelley Beckwith while adding that faculty and students contributed to the baking.
The ‘This is What a Feminist Looks Like’ table consisted of flyers, index cards to write what feminism means to you, free pens, cups, and key chains. PAC was in the process of setting up a display of photographs of people from the shoulders up to put on these t-shirt flyers with quotes under them of why these particular people are feminists.
 Poalino was stationed with the SANE pamphlets and flanked by PAC advisor Amy Bremel, who has verÃ¥y specific views of what she thinks feminism really is.
“A huge aspect of it is if you open up a history textbook it only highlights men’s accomplishments. We are here to celebrate and honor women in history who have had a huge impact on all kinds of issues,” said Bremel. “We each define feminism in a different way; feminism for me is supporting equality.”

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