MRU club raises money for sexual assault survivors
Emily Kirsch, Staff Writer
A Mount Royal University (MRU) student organization called Women in Media explores themes of sexual assault and safe spaces through a screening of She Said to celebrate International Women’s day this March 8.
She Said is a film about two New York Times reporters who broke an important story about sexual assault in Hollywood. The screening had a concession where proceeds were to be donated to Calgary Communities Against Sexual Assault.
WIM is a SAMRU club that was started by Broadcast Media Studies students in 2020, and this is their first year organizing an event for International Women’s Day.
The club formed with the intention of creating a safe space for women to tell their stories and make content that they were passionate about.
WIM’s president Alexandra Padilla Guajardo explains that their goal is to create content that fairly represents women and other minority groups and to amplify their voices. They intend to make and showcase work that doesn’t push stereotypes and misconceptions regarding gender or marginalized groups.
Amanda Williams, associate professor and faculty advisor for WIM states that “If we don’t have the right kinds of representations, then how can you imagine a future in which, as a self identifying woman, you are a leader, an entrepreneur…if you don’t see those [representations], then it becomes challenging.”
Through their screening event, WIM hoped to open discussion about safe spaces, sexual harassment, disclosure in different environments, conversations that can be very tricky. Just like the overlying theme of these events, equity and representation is at the forefront of discussion.
Williams touches on the sensitivity, adding that universities are a space where difficult conversations should be had—because once students begin to move into workplaces, they might want some strategies and ways to think about these issues.
“How do you have those difficult conversations around representation? When you see it, and you can recognize it? How do you work to amplify voices of marginalized communities?”
Aside from WIM’s screening, there are two other notable International Women’s Day events to look out for from the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies.
On March 22, there will be an interview with Dr. Heejung Chung from the University of Kent, and author of the book the Flexibility Paradox, which will touch on navigating the risks and rewards of working from home.
The event will also feature the voices of Tammy Arseneau, the vice president of human resources at Suncor, which is about the employer’s approach to this new workplace dynamic.
Dr. Laura Hambley Lovett, who has worked with employers to develop policies and practices in managing a distributed workforce, will also be speaking. Following the panelists will be time for discussion and networking.
To close off the International Women’s month at MRU, organizers are changing things up by hosting a Hi Lo class for faculty, staff and students alike. Anyone interested can take part in the cardio workout class curated for all fitness levels held on March 29. This event is a by- donation participation, as all proceeds will go directly back to students.
Students and Faculty can find out more about these events online.
Williams shares, “particularly for self identifying women who are entering the workplace, there’s still a climate where patriarchy exists. So acknowledging that and knowing what strategies might work, especially when there’s strength in numbers, all of those kinds of things are positive things.”