Introduction By Grace Di Cecco, Service-Learning Teacher Assistant
This spring, freshman honors students in Professor Sarah Finn’s First-Year Writing course “Science, Technology, and Human Values” have participated in Service-Learning by joining on-campus activist groups that relate to course themes of science, technology, and human values. Their service work has informed their learning in the course as we explore how writing can be used for activism and enacting change, and they have joined vibrant communities on campus by getting involved with issues they are passionate about. Below, students share the causes they have dedicated themselves to and reflect on their experiences so far. This is the third post that kicks off a series of six about First-Year students serving Northeastern through Activism. Stay tuned for more posts!
Feminist Student Organization
By Service-Learning Students Laney Zahner & Eloise Coly
Pictured above: Laney Zahner & Eloise Coly
We joined the Feminist Student Organization (FSO) at the beginning of this semester. The mission of this organization is “to promote discussion, debate and action as it relates to feminism and its many intersections in society.” They work directly with students, especially Northeastern’s female, minority, and LGBTQ+ populations, to involve people in activism through discussions relating to feminism as it relates to campus life and students. The meeting topics vary widely from week to week, touching on topics that break down stereotypes, barriers, and myths about or relating to marginalized groups.
Our involvement with the FSO started with weekly meetings, and soon we progressed to taking an active role in the discussions. We also both performed in the annual production of the Vagina Monologues, which raised money for a local charity that provides legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault. There are a few events outside of the weekly meetings that have allowed us to gain a better depth of knowledge about feminist issues, including the screening of Vessel in After Hours. We look forward to participating in the “Take Back the Night” event later this semester.
This organization has given us both a new outlook on campus culture and the way that we all fit together in Northeastern’s community. The meetings provide a valuable insight into how to impact change via education and discussion. Being encouraged to perform in the Vagina Monologues strengthened our performance skills, and it was a liberating experience to be able to talk about such a taboo subject so openly in front of our peers (and Professor Finn). Through this student group, we have also made connections with amazing people, especially upperclassmen, who continue to inspire us to be better activists and feminists. Joining the Northeastern FSO has been a truly empowering journey, and we both have plans to remain active in the group in the coming semesters.