SCSL holds state of the woman, addresses current issues

Elizabeth Floyd, Staff Writer

The South Carolina Student Legislature (SCSL) hosted the State of Women: Educational Talk and Panel on March 7, the day before International Women’s Day, in Lowrimore Auditorium to discuss issues women face.

Natalie Johnson, assistant professor of political science, began the event with a lecture. After the lecture portion of the event, Kylie Cracknell, chair of the FMU Delegation of the SCSL, introduced the four panelists. The panel consisted of Vice President for Student Affairs Teresa Ramey, Coordinator of the Gender Studies Program Pamela Rooks, Assistant Professor of Political Science Dillon Tatum and Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Kay Packett.

Cracknell said she is happy FMU holds important panels like this to keep students informed.

“It is important to have events like this at our university to talk about issues that are happening in our society and to engage students,” Cracknell said. “I like these events because students can come learn what issues women are facing and get different perspectives on them and then form their own opinion about them based on the information they learned.”

Packett said she wished she had the chance to attend a panel like this to prepare her for the obstacles of working with men.

“I was very encouraged that there were men here as well as women,” Packett said. “I think that it’s important for women to realize where we’ve come from and how far we have to go but also for men to understand how these issues affect women.”

Michelle Carter, mass communication major, said she saw a poster on campus and decided to come.

“Being a woman of color, this seemed like a cool event to go to,” Carter said. “I learned that a woman’s confidence goes a long way in representation. And even though we have a long way to go, there is hope in the future. I would encourage other students to come to events like this because it is very informative and will give you a new perspective.”

Precious McLaughlin, FMU College Democrats president, said she came to the event because of her involvement with the SCSL and because of the interesting perspectives.

“The panel was very informative and inspiring,” McLaughlin said. “It was an important reminder that women need to see themselves in every area of life, especially in leadership. It was refreshing to see and hear from those kinds of women.”

Tyrell Rowell, SCSL delegate, said he came to the event because of the title of the event.

“It is important for us to understand where the stance of feminism is today and how it ties into politics directly and generally,” Rowell said. “Hopefully we will hold this event again and we’ll have a greater male and female turnout because it’s a great chance to get a perspective about how women feel about their part and how their roles play vital parts in each aspect of society.”

During the panel, Cracknell asked the panel members a series of questions to get the discussion started. Attending students were encouraged to ask the panel questions about future situations and questions that Cracknell had not addressed. McLaughlin ended the event with a closing statement.