A Night Without Women event aims to bring social change to DePauw

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Juniors Saige Huiet and Elizabeth Brunell want to bring awareness about the importance of women on campus by holding an “A Night Without Women” event on Friday, wherein women would not go to fraternities.

    The idea originated from the national “A Day Without Women” movement that urged women to skip work on International Women’s day on March 8. “A Day Without Women” began this year at an organized protest on Jan. 21 in which organizers in Washington, D.C. encouraged all women not to partake in paid or unpaid labor in order to demonstrate women’s impact in the workplace and on the economy.

    During her feminist theory class, Huiet wondered if an impact similar to that of “A Day Without Women” could be replicated on a small college campus. Her professor, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Tamara Beauboeuf, suggested she could dedicate a night for women to refrain from going to fraternities.

    “At first I was like, that’s hilarious, that would never happen, but then I realized that it could easily happen, we just have to organize it,” Huiet said. “So then I told my friends about it and then we wanted to make it happen.”

    “I think the idea of it is aimed at the right cause, which is to raise awareness of sexual assault, but I don’t like that it’s focusing on the actions of the victims,” Goodwin said.

    “[A Night Without Women] brings awareness to how vital women are to the fraternity party culture, and I think a lot of times women are undervalued in that system,” Huiet said. “It’s a very patriarchal system that kind of treats women really poorly.”

    This year will be the first year that “A Night Without Women” will take place at DePauw.

    Brunell said she is hopeful that “A Night Without Women” will be a success. However, she understands that not everyone on campus will participate.

    “I know not every single girl on campus is not going to go to a frat that night. That would be an unrealistic expectation,” Brunell said. “My hope is that there would be enough people who do not go to fraternities…that there is some kind of noticeable difference in the number of women that are out that night at fraternities.”

    Huiet and Brunell want women to start their own social events, not only on “A Night Without Women,” but also in the future. Huiet said The Women’s Center will be offering more social events more frequently in upcoming years in order to offer an alternative to fraternity parties on campus.

    “I think that [female-led events] is something that, on campus, we need to encourage more of because all of our social scene is run by men, but it does not have to be and it should not be because then it is more inclusive to everyone,” Huiet said.

    Huiet hopes this event will start a campus-wide social movement to create an alternative to fraternity parties, which are currently a major source of social events on campus.

    “I think that this [A Night Without Women] brings awareness that fraternities really need to respect women, especially with a lot of the on campus dialogues about sexual assault,” Huiet said.

    Sophomore Kiara Goodwin thinks the event is a good start, but is skeptical about the focus of the event.

    “I think the idea of it is aimed at the right cause, which is to raise awareness of sexual assault, but I don’t like that it’s focusing on the actions of the victims,” Goodwin said.