- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 02 December 2016
- Written by JAMILAH MCMILLAN | MANAGING/NEWS EDITOR
Students donated feminine hygiene products and purses to homeless women as an admissions fee for the PB & Jam Sessions co-hosted by Students Advocating Girls Education (SAGE) and The Music Alliance (TMA) on Friday, November 18 in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.
On the Wednesday and Thursday before the event SAGE members tabled in the RSSC for donations. All of the donations acquired were collected by the Unitarian Church of Neptune to be distributed to homeless women in the local vicinity.
Thinking about and caring for others is a vital aspect of self-development. At this time of the year especially when we count and share our blessings, it is refreshing to think that students of SAGE and The Music Alliance are thinking about others, especially the disadvantaged, with genuine empathy,” said Rekha Datta, the advisor of SAGE, and Professor of Political Science and Sociology.
“Collecting feminine products is an example of that. Worldwide, including here in the US, many families and girls find it difficult to afford and have access to healthy feminine products. This project that they have identified is truly a worthy one,” she added.
Along with the charitable aspect of the event, was the live music that included four all girl or girl led bands; Before It’s Too Late, The Skinny Dips, Subway Babes, and Hampton Hollow, and singer Nicole Govel.
“When it came to the bands, I opened it up to the artists in the club first and then I thought it would be cool to invite Hampton Hollow to play at the event because I knew they had an awesome girl singer and a totally Bad Ass girl drummer and what screams girl power more than girls drumming,” said Nicole Seitz, the head of outreach for The Music Alliance, and a senior education and history student.
Just a few hours before the start of the event, Anacon was transformed. The ceiling lights were dimmed and replaced by blue string lights that lined the stage. Music played as SAGE members prepared for donations, and The Music Alliance members prepared for the bands.
A table with the ingredients to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was also prepped near the back of the room. It became a hit once the PB & Jam Sessions commenced.
When the doors opened at 5 p.m., students entered with their donations. They left them with SAGE members at a table which was engulfed quickly by purses, feminine hygiene products, and toiletries. After a while, donations had to be placed on the floor around the table.
Victoria Borges, a senior social work student, attended the event. She said, “I have actually done a lot of research on homelessness, and people think of homelessness as one big population but they don’t think of homelessness in as people with their own unique struggles. But there are older populations, there are veterans, there are younger people, and there are women who have their periods which people kind of forget.”
“Imagine being homeless women who is not able to afford feminine hygiene products that are priced like luxuries when they are actual necessities. This event was really important because it helped a real need. And I feel like the music enhanced the cause because music in general has always been synonymous with political or social movements.”
According to Jezebel the average woman spends $120 dollars a year on pads and tampons. That’s approximately $5,600 spent in a lifetime.
Datta says that SAGE will have more philanthropic events in the future. “Just like this event which benefits the homeless and less fortunate, on Dec. 4, SAGE is organizing a 5K walk and run on campus to raise funds for scholarships for less privileged girls and to promote the value of education. For more info and to participate in the 5k contact Janaya Lewinski, President of SAGE at: email@example.com or Rekha Datta, firstname.lastname@example.org,” said Datta.
photo taken by Jamilah McMillan