A newly formed club on campus, R.I.S.E., seeks to address issues of concern to all students, especially women’s issues.
R.I.S.E. stands for Reach out, Inspire, Strength and Empower. It was founded by Stevenson students Samantha Eddy, Shanice Hastings, Ryan Durdan and Christine Creary, and also has faculty supervision from Dr. Ingrid Tulloch from the psychology department.
According to Tulloch, the overall objective of this group is to provide educational experiences and conversations between men and women that embody issues facing all women of different socio-cultural backgrounds. The group also aims to provide students with community service opportunities and mentoring for young women.
The idea of R.I.S.E. started out as a discussion among the four students who ultimately set up the foundation for establishing a group on campus that focuses on issues around empowering women. Tulloch explained that the students were influenced to create this group based on their individual experiences where women were treated unethically. Recognizing these issues, the students were able to develop a vision and motto for the group: “When you empower women, you empower everyone.”
R.I.S.E. hopes to be a voice for women but also aims to be mindful of individuals and groups who are not females but also experience the same feeling of exclusion based on their ethnic background. Through a variety of different events and discussions, R.I.S.E. seeks to educate participants on topics of inequality among all genders. They work to achieve this goal in hopes of finding a solution as a community that promotes inclusion, respect and mutual growth.
In R.I.S.E.’s effort to include the community, they have sponsored several events that inform the public about issues such as relationship violence. These events include MILE, the Q-group and One Love Foundation that also work to achieve a common goal similar to that of R.I.S.E.’s.
Tulloch said that the events help to eliminate the belief that women’s empowerment is about hating men or other negative images. She added that the events have been successful in communicating that women’s empowerment is about community, collaboration, and mutual growth.
One last scheduled event is called the Barefaced Challenge, which is being held on May 2. The goal is to challenge women and men to go without make-up and learn to appreciate their natural beauty.
As of now the group is categorized as an initiative on campus, but is in the process of obtaining a club title. This group is open to all students and encourages community involvement as well. R.I.S.E’s president, Shanice Hastings, insists that the involvement of males is essential to a bigger impact within the community. Individuals interested in joining can contact R.I.S.E. by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.