By Caroline Skae, WMSLO Student Activist Grant Recipient
My name is Caroline Skae and I am a 4th year biomedical engineering major at Cal Poly, as well as a student assistant at Safer, which is Cal Poly’s resource for prevention education and response to sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.
The Women’s March SLO grant allowed me to host events and engage my campus in a very important issue. My focus was on the Federal Title IX comment period. Title IX policy is important because it protects the rights of individuals in any federally funded educational program or activity. The proposed changes are very harmful towards survivors, especially individuals at even higher risk of sexual violence such as people in the LGBTQ+ and trans communities.
My project was aimed at raising awareness of these changes and getting people to take action! The comment period was a sixty-day period which allowed anyone to give feedback on the proposed regulation. The Department of Education is required to read and respond to every comment made before implementing these changes, so this was a very critical period.
By boothing on campus every week and at events like the Women’s March, and the Planned Parenthood Generation Action Conference, we were able to engage and inform the students around us. We also worked directly with campus and community organizations to inform them on the changes and help them with their comments. Through all of the outreach that I did, I was able to reach approximately 575 people. If email chains are included, this reach expands to approximately 800 individuals!
The Women’s March SLO grant not only allowed me to host these events and engage the community, but also provided me with guidance and help in reaching my goals. I was connected with many more community members involved in this work. One of the key people I was connected with was their intern Saba. Saba created a campaign to comment using postcards. We were able to work together to fill out and mail in 500 hand written comments.
I am so grateful to have been awarded this grant and make an impact with it. It was awesome to be supported by this community organization in work that is so meaningful and important to me.