The Peers Educating and Advocating for Campus Safety, Equality, and Empowerment (PEACE) is a new club at Shippensburg University which is a women’s advocacy group fighting violence and derogatory views of women in popular culture through lectures and presentations.
The club held its first meeting this semester at 4 p.m. on Friday. PEACE is a women’s advocacy group fighting violence and derogatory views of women in popular culture through lectures and presentations.
The group runs workshops on identifying unhealthy relationships and gender stereotypes. This includes the objectifying and dehumanization of women and the glorifying of violence in the media, what consensual sex actually means and bystander intervention.
PEACE was created by Director of the Women’s Center Stephanie Erdice, current graduate assistant and adviser Chelsea Ksanznak, and former graduate assistants Deb Mathes and Kelsea Roman. According to Ksanznak the club was made with the strengths of the previous organizations, Rape Educators and Contacts (REACT) and Feminists Rising for Equality and Empowerment (FREE), in mind.
“REACT used to do workshops, but their goal wasn’t to present workshops. Their goal was to advocate and help survivors,” Ksanznak said. “With FREE, their goal was consciousness raising. So we took that educational piece and the advocacy piece and mashed it together and developed this new group that had the goal of educating the campus, working more directly with the campus in a way that students would feel comfortable in doing.”
Friday’s meeting consisted of planning dates and locations for this semester’s workshops and training new members.
One of these new members is senior Jiyana Wright, a human resource management major. She is also on the Ask. Communicate. Teach Tolerance (ACT) committee, a group focused on race relations and equality.
Wright decided to become involved with PEACE after witnessing a friend go through a tumultuous relationship.
“It just made me want to really get involved,” she said, “and just advocate, and make it very known that women deal with issues that we suffer from greatly and affects us the rest of our lives. Like the way we don’t interact with other people as well as far as physically and, most importantly, mentally.”
If you are a survivor and need help visit the Women’s Center website at http://www.ship.edu/Womens_Center/Resources/ for a list of agencies and contact information.
If you wish to become involved in PEACE contact Chelsea Ksanznak at email@example.com. Or come to PEACE’s weekly meetings on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Women’s Center in Horton Hall.