Pink and red balloons decorated Holland Library Atrium for the V-Day WSU 10th anniversary celebration at noon on Wednesday.
Wyat Taylor/The Daily Evergreen
V-day WSU honored 48 women who have supported V-Day or shown a commitment to the empowerment of women and girls. All the women and V-Day members received pins purchased from Designs By Lucinda, a business that helps non-profit organizations educate and raise funds.
Katie Wheeler, a senior digital technology and culture major, said selecting the women to be honored was a group effort. She said the group’s graduate coordinator Joan Oviawe chose many of the women but members of the club also contributed names.
Cassandra Nichols, director of the WSU counseling center and V-Day honoree, said the counseling center has been involved with V-Day from the start. Counselors have been available at past showings of "The Vagina Monologues" to assist with questions. The center also works directly with sexual assault victims, she said.
Founding member and past adviser Catherine Bergley explained the history of V-Day at WSU. She said current adviser Tim Freson encouraged her to take her daughter to watch “The Vagina Monologues” ten years ago at University of Idaho. After the show, Bergley said she wanted to start the same program at WSU.
She said the program has expanded since the beginning. The play now includes some males and the focus has shifted from solely women to all gender violence. She encouraged the celebration attendees to bring friends, parents or grandparents to watch WSU’s production of “The Vagina Monologues.”
“I guarantee you’re going to have a really great conversation afterwards,” she said.
In a testimony during the program, Cecilia Hernandez, a senior sociology and communication major, said she likes the campaign V-Day supports and that joining the club was a great experience. Wyat Taylor/The Daily Evergreen
“You will never look at yourself the same way,” Hernandez said.
Sina Sam, a senior women's studies major, said V-Day is a safe environment for anyone affected directly or indirectly by violence.
“V-Day for me was my first leadership opportunity here at WSU and it’s something I would recommend for all freshmen,” Sam said.
Members and supporters of V-Day WSU have raised more than $70,000 in the last decade, Wheeler said. Most of the money is donated to Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse(cq) (ATVP). V-Day also supports a spotlight organization Women and Girls of Haiti and 10 to 20 percent of the money is donated to that organization, as well, she said.
“This group really helps foster greatness in women,” Wheeler said.
She said V-Day will sell tickets for “The Vagina Monologues” in the Compton Union Building this week and next from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day. The performances are on Feb. 9 through 11 at 7 p.m. in Jones Theater. V-Day is also hosting a donation drive for ATVP and will have donation boxes at the ticket sales and performances. Wheeler said the club is looking for non-perishable food items, feminine hygiene products and used cell phones.
Wyat Taylor/The Daily Evergreen “The Vagina Monologues” is a play written by Eve Ensler in 1994. The play is based on more than 200 interviews of women, said Kylene Daschofsky, president of V-Day and director of this year’s “The Vagina Monologues.”
Jon Carlson, performing arts operations coordinator, advises the students on technical matters such as lighting, stage design and vocal projection for “The Vagina Monologues.” He said he has worked with nine casts and each year the dynamic changes because of incoming freshmen.
“They bring a real freshness to the piece,” Carlson said.
He said the content is not easy to perform because the material is related to violence and abuse, but the play is helpful and inspiring to those who watch it.
For more information about V-Day WSU, visit vdaywsu.hws.wsu.edu.