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UMD NOW — Project Evolution (so far)

by on April 2, 2011

We were initially interested in working around the current controversial plan in Congress to strip Planned Parenthood’s (PP) federal funding. We are concerned about women’s health and women’s reproductive rights, but are also concerned with the legislative assault on women, and the lack of discussion on campus around either topic. We discussed establishing a PP chapter on campus, possibly working with an existing group (Triota) that we are already involved in. However, we became concerned that our project might be reduced to a safe-sex presentation (which Triota did only a few months ago). Because focusing on PP limits our broader range of interests, we thought we needed to widen our issue focus; a student intern mentioned at Triota meeting last semester that NOW would like to work with students to establish a NOW-chapter on campus. Triota meeting attendees expressed interest in this possibility in November, but no one seemed inclined to do anything about it.

We find the potential relationship with Triota appealing because students could use the NOW chapter as a platform to speak to issues that effect women of all ages, classes, races, sexual preferences, etc., and offer a voice for women’s positions and viewpoints on campus, as well as drive dialogue. Plus, NOW can position itself to offer a broader range of views than other feminist- and social justice-oriented student groups while supporting their missions.

We have the benefit of an existing network through Triota. Not sure how specifically we will integrate technology into the project, but website, blog, twitter, facebook, and email will all be necessary to reach interested students, community members, and related groups. Our initial plan is to lay the foundation for the group to be recognized by SGA/STARS at the beginning of the fall semester (need to list in detail what that involves), plan programming to generate interest, with the goal of receiving SGA funding for the academic year beginning Fall 2012.

(as of 3/30/2011)

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