Perspectives join together in unifying discussions
THE SANTA CLARA
January 16, 2014
Starting this quarter at Santa Clara is I Am That Girl, a club dedicated to improving self-image for both men and women.
Despite having already achieved certain milestones, the fight for women’s status and rights has proven to be an ongoing quest throughout history.
Even today, many negative connotations regarding the word “feminism” exist, but I Am That Girl hopes to express feminist values in a more positive way by creating opportunities for meaningful conversations to occur.
Alexis Jones from the University of Southern California originally founded the organization I Am That Girl as a way to reinforce independence and self-esteem amongst herself and her peers. The concept rapidly spread onto other college campuses including Chapman University, and now, Santa Clara.
I Am That Girl, a support group encourages people to embrace themselves, battle insecurities and turn self-doubt into self-love. The organization focuses on equality and helping women find their way in today’s society.
Especially in the Silicon Valley, where life is fast-paced and immense pressure to meet society’s expectations exists, I Am That Girl is a place where people can voice their concerns in open discussions about a range of important topics — such as controversial or global issues relating to women and men in the 21st century.
“Often people are taken over by the scene here and there’s no place to go and talk about things that bother them or are important to them,” said club leader, sophomore Tabitha Petrini. “It doesn’t seem like there’s a place to go and talk about it. This club is a place where people can go and bring up issues and hear from different perspectives.”
I Am That Girl strives to be the place where individuals can freely express their thoughts — whether they be about personal matters, perspectives on women in society or current events.
In addition, faculty is welcome to join the discussions, offer their own perspectives or simply listen.
In fact, many female professors at Santa Clara who pursued their career ambitions, achieved success and established families serve as inspiring role models for the group’s young women and embody the goal of I Am That Girl.
Men are also encouraged to join and engage in the club discussions. Men can not only gain new understanding regarding women and the issues they face, but also provide an interesting point of view, and in turn, add a different dynamic to the conversations.
I Am That Girl has plans to invite many speakers and hold events outside of Santa Clara, including volunteer days where the club hopes to work with local charities and actively contribute to the surrounding community.
Although the club is still waiting upon official approval regarding logistical information, membership is already growing.
With a turnout of 39 attendees at the first meeting and almost 200 likes on I Am That Girl’s Facebook page, which is just three weeks old, leaders of the club Monica De Lazzari, Mary Gallant and Petrini are excited for the future of I Am That Girl at Santa Clara.
De Lazzari, Gallant and Petrini hope that the club continues to grow, eventually emerging into a movement similar to that of Jones’ and in which everyone at Santa Clara becomes involved with the club.
“We want to help provide a support group for young women learning to love themselves,” said De Lazzari.
If you would like to learn more about becoming “that girl” or “that guy,” bring your friends and an open mind to the club meeting this upcoming week.
I Am That Girl meets on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., and anyone can join the club’s email list and like its Facebook page for weekly updates regarding announcements about the club, its location and upcoming events.
Contact Victoria Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.