The Women’s Center’s Presents “Our Voices are Vibrant”
By Victoria Staub, Contributing Writer
On Saturday, March 19, the Gettysburg College Women’s Center virtually presented “Our Voices are Vibrant” via Zoom.
Gettysburg students Ellie Boye ’22, Ericka Parra ’21, and Caoilainn “Kiki” McKenna ’21, as Women’s Center Program Coordinators and Co-Directors of “Our Voices,” were responsible for coordinating this project alongside 11 participants from the Gettysburg College community. This event featured 14 monologue submissions that were pre-filmed due to COVID. Approximately 80 people were in attendance via Zoom.
“Our Voices are Vibrant is a show that seeks to highlight the unique stories and experiences of Gettysburg College students, all relating to intersectional feminist themes,” said McKenna.
Parra added that the production is an outlet “for students to celebrate and bring awareness to topics regarding gender, sexuality, and beyond.”
This project is new to the Gettysburg community as prior years displayed a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” This switch occurred in 2020 — the Women’s Center wanted to transition to “a fully student written show to showcase the diverse stories and experiences of students in the Gettysburg College community,” McKenna said. This switch was made due to concerns raised by students in 2019, the last year of production for the Vagina Monologues. McKenna explained that “many students voiced concerns that the [Vagina Monologues do] not adequately celebrate and elevate especially systematically disenfranchised individuals, such as women of color and trans individuals.” Parra added that there was a personal touch added by individualized monologues: “It is different to read someone else’s monologue, as opposed to reading your own or a friend’s.”
The pandemic had a large impact on the event, the most obvious being that it was held remotely and not performed in front of a live audience. According to Boye, however, “the Zoom presentation format we had this year gave those who struggle with or dislike public speaking a chance to share their submissions in an environment with less stress because they were able to pre-record their pieces.” Another impact of the pandemic was the inability to sell t-shirts. “We normally sell t-shirts for the production, and proceeds benefit the Adams County sexual assault and domestic violence resource center,” said McKenna. “Unfortunately, due to COVID we were not able to do that this year.”
Despite the COVID-related challenges, McKenna, Parra, and Boye expressed excitement about the future of this project. “We hope to see more students take advantage of this platform,” said Boye. “Gettysburg students have so many valuable and powerful stories related to their gender identity, [and they] deserve to have their experiences heard by the rest of the community.”
The Women’s Center, located on the first floor of Apple Hall, has many more events scheduled in April — which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Resource Center is open from 4-8 p.m. every day. “It’s a safe and welcoming space for anyone to come do homework or hangout,” said Boye.
To find updates about the Women’s Center’s programming, visit their Instagram @gburgresourcecenter.