Students for the Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) is a newly senate-recognized organization on campus that encourages equal rights and fosters an environment where people of all genders can feel safe and valued.
It is often a forum for discussion on the importance of gender equality and hosts many lively conversations on how to better the future and “promote equality on campus” explained vice president, Sophie Weaver.
SAGE was founded last year by a student named Katie Gallagher, when she left the school new members took initiative in continuing the organization and getting it recognized by student senate.
The founders think having an organization at the University of Rhode Island like SAGE demonstrates a progressive and inclusive campus atmosphere. “It’s a multifaceted organization where you talk with other like minded individuals about pressing topics and encourage positive changes,” said Weaver.
Organizations like SAGE help nurture a campus-wide attitude of equality and inclusion.
The members of the club are “friendly and caring” said a new peer educator, Marisa Aspromonti, who observes the organization and works alongside many of its members.
“[They] truly do make a difference on campus whether it’s subtle or not,” Aspromonti said.
Along with gender equality, the organization focuses on other socially relevant topics to give students insight and understanding on world issues and how to combat them.
In the past, SAGE has had many events and celebrations that explore specific topics on how to further equality on and off campus through outreach and education. This semester is just getting started for the organization and their first event was successfully hosted this past Friday.
On Feb. 13, SAGE held its first Galentine’s Day at the Women’s Center to promote the importance of friend love and body confidence. Galentine’s Day is a fictional holiday, made popular by the NBC series Parks and Recreation, that takes place the day before Valentine’s Day and celebrates female friendships. Amy Poehler’s character on the show is very vocal about gender equality as well as self empowerment and confidence.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday evening anyone was welcomed to join in for a free make-your-own-waffle station as well as an opportunity to be among friends in a safe and comfortable atmosphere all while learning about body positivity and how to promote a healthy self image.
Challenging the beauty ideal and societal norm, president of SAGE, Ivy Burns, explained that during their social gathering that night they made strides in destroying the notion that you have to “subscribe to society’s definition of beauty.”
Promoted on Facebook and Twitter as well as signs posted throughout campus featuring Amy Poehler’s face, Burns said Galentine’s Day received a good turnout bringing in an “exciting, thirty students.”
SAGE meets on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in room five of the Multicultural Center and encourages and welcomes new members. “It’s more fun than you’d think,” said Weaver, describing the inclusive organization and its practicality on campus of challenging sexist beliefs and harmonizing all genders.