Sophia Opens Arms to Females, Males Alike

by Victoria Jones

Sophia, a feminist women’s social issues group, wants to celebrate women’s accomplishments and add male members.

 “We’re not man-haters,” senior Stephanie Corbett said.

Sophia, named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, is anything but a political group and students don’t have to be a feminist to join. It also isn’t a “girls only” group.

“We don’t believe you have to be a woman to be in the group or a feminist,” Corbett said. “We believe in equality for men and women.”

The group is a community for people to come together who have similar interests. It’s an advocacy group that looks at women’s needs on campus. It has an educational awareness to show students the issues women might have that aren’t well-known.

The members say they hope to become a resource for students.

“We really want to be a resource for anybody on campus who [is] dealing in any of these issues,” senior Meagan Gamble said. “Whether it be sexual assault, domestic violence or trying to get a paper done on time, but you can’t because you boyfriend is bugging you.”

The group isn’t always negative.

“It’s easy when you talk about women’s issues to look at rape, how we earn less than men overall, things like that,” Corbett said. “One thing our group wants to do this semester is to have positive images out there and not just all this negative news.”

Sophia does many things both on and off campus. Senior Kate Harris is in charge of its book club.

“It’s for high school girls,” Harris said. “We choose literature that they could pick out on their own at the library. It’s not the classical stuff you learn in school. It involves strong female characters and empowerment by girls.”

Sophia does a lot of activities during Women’s History month in March. One is a silent auction that is held during the Vagina Monologues. All of the proceeds from the auction are donated to Planned Parenthood.

A lot of students may have gone to one of its events without even knowing it because many of Sophia’s events are forums as well, including many speakers.

Sophia also gives back to the community. A few years ago it asked for donations of reusable tote bags and hygiene products and then donated the product-filled bags to a women’s shelter.

In the spring Sophia will be hosting a rally against sexual assault called “Take Back the Night” on campus.

“‘Take Back the Night’ [is about] women reclaiming the night and not having [the] fear of being alone if they’re outside alone at night,” Corbett said.

There are many different areas to get involved in and current members would be more than happy to welcome newcomers.

“Anyone is welcome to come,” Gamble said.

Meetings are Thursdays at 8 p.m. in the Women’s Resource Center, which is next to the Delta Delta Delta sorority house. Students who are interested in the group are encouraged keep an eye out for e-mails.

“We’re really friendly and we don’t bite,” Gamble said.