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HerCarnival event celebrates women

Pictured from left to right: HerCampus members Erika Stewart, Vice President Carlee Nilphai, and Victoria Hodges. (All photos courtesy of Carly O'Neill.)

Carly O’Neill

Associate News Editor

HerCampus hosted their first ever HerCarnival event, which took place on Friday, March 29 from 5-7 p.m. in the SMC Reighard Multipurpose room.

The carnival was an educational, fun, and engaging experience to celebrate women with the students of Millersville.

“Women don’t get celebrated enough for all they do and bringing clubs together helps celebrate all women.” HerCampus writer, Erika Stewart comments.

There were a series of events put together by several clubs and organizations of Millersville to bring awareness to topics such as: women’s issues, influential women throughout history, and transgender women.

International Education Week

Lola Itzhaki, Alexis Sites, and Caleb Nauman from HerCampus put together the women throughout history table, which emphasized progressive women in politics as well as influential women that HerCampus voted should be in the carnival.

Among these women include: Poet, fiction writer, “mother of African-American journalism”, and activist for women of color, Frances Harper;

Activist in the civil rights movement who inspired the Montgomery bus boycott, Rosa Parks;

and American WWII worker who was the inspiration for “Rosie the Riveter” or better known as the “We Can Do It!” icon, Naomi Parker.

Delta Zeta decorated their table to celebrate influential sisters who have also been a part of fraternities throughout their college days. Many of these sisters include well known actresses and singers such as: Betty White, actress, former member of the Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity; Traci Braxton, singer, former member of the Zeta Phi Beta fraternity; and Kelly Price, singer and songwriter, former member of the Sigma Gamma Rho fraternity.  

Another table had a colorful trivia wheel to test students on the seriousness of drug addiction. Depending on where the wheel landed, participants were asked whether the scenario read was a use or misuse of drugs.

ACMO, the All Campus Musical Organization, decorated their table to celebrate famous actresses who got their start from musical theater. ACMO members, Jess Melck and Molly Evans, elaborated more on their favorite influential actresses in the theater business including: Sutton Foster, known for her work on Broadway; Patti LuPone known for her performances in stage musicals; and Julia Andrews known for her Broadway debut in the 1954 musical, The Boy Friend.

Pictured from left to right: Molly Evans and Jess Melck members of ACMO

Alpha Sigma Tau, known for their mission statement of “empowering women to excel in life,” was also at HerCarnival promoting their work to equip young women through their recent tampon drive. They collected tampons around campus to give back to young women in need by donating their collection to the YMCA. Their handmade posters also brought attention to the overall costs of a period from the price of tampons, panty liners, medicine, heating pads, and period cravings.  

Members of Alpha Sigma Tau

Citamard, a student-run theatre organization named after the word ‘dramatic’ spelled backwards, was also at the carnival. Their table took students on a brief historical walkthrough of women in theatre.

One of the most interesting facts that stood out was the part about women not being able to be in Shakespeare’s plays. Since he was well known for including major female leading roles, men would dress up as women and perform on stage to imitate these women roles.

Lisa Shaffer Citamard member

Another table honored the most significant transgender women throughout history. Among these historical figures include Lili Elbe, the first documented case of sex reassignment surgery. The movie “The Danish Girl” was inspired by Elbe’s life.

Marsha P. Johnson was known for her outspoken support on gay rights and self-identified as a drag queen. She also co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, better known as STAR, with Sylvia Rivera. STAR was the first LGBTQ+ youth shelter in the United States, as well as the first organization to be led by a trans women of color.

Laverne Cox is an actress and LGBTQ+ advocate. She made her first appearance on a reality TV show called I Want to Work for Diddy. She is more well known for her recent work on the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. In 2014, she made history as the first trans women to make the cover of TIME magazine. Within that same year she was awarded The GLAAD Stephen F. Kolzak Award by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for her work in promoting trans awareness.

The Circle of Sisters, known for their motto of “removing educational barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression,” decorated their table to educate students on their mission statement. The Circle of Sisters engages with more than 270 Greek communities on college campuses across the U.S. The sisters send sorority women to live with families in selected villages in order to build a school where women can feel safe and get the education they deserve. Their goal is to “give these girls a better opportunity and education” comments member of The Circle of Sisters, Taylor Schaal.

Pictured from left to right are members of The Circle of Sisters, Taylor Schaal and Kylee Derrickson.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or the NAACP, held a trivia game at their table to help teach Millersville students more about influential colored and Hispanic women throughout history.

Participants were given laminated cards with information about a specific woman’s accomplishments, and then expected to match it to one of the faces laid out on the table.

After about ten minutes of playing the guessing game, the NAACP confirmed what pieces of information went with certain significant women throughout history.  

Overall, HerCarnival was an enjoyable, informative experience for both students and organizations to come together and celebrate women.

HerCampus members pictured left to right: Libby Sweet, Vice President Carlee Nilphai, President Jessica Moore, Lola Itzhaki, and Alexis Sites.