Students voice their thoughts through art
Jaylen Carr – Sports Editor
The university’s academic departments help students and faculty express their views through art and writing about the continued fight for reproductive rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
Starting on March 21, the main offices of the history, women’s gender studies and political science departments are creating an art installment for students and faculty to express how they felt about the overturn of Roe v. Wade. There were markers, posters, and other art utensils to help visually say how they thought about the Supreme Court decision.
“We had done a few events around it over the last year since Roe v. Wade was overturned,” History department secretary Amanda Ward said.“We did a panel on Sept. 14, 2022, with faculty members from four different parts of Southern and then we did a paper bag luncheon.”
Ward said the luncheon was a fantastic way to get people to express their feelings about the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“We need to keep the conversation going because students need to know that their voices can and should be heard on this issue,” Ward said. “We are trying to stir whatever interest we can towards the cause just so that everyone feels like they aren’t powerless.”
Ward said Professor Sarah Roe, the Women’s and Gender studies and political science department, discussed the art installation as an excellent idea for visually seeing how people felt about the Court ruling.
“An art installation is more of a physical way to get their voices heard,” Ward said. “The idea of an art installation came up, which we probably won’t be able to accomplish this year, but at least we can put something on the walls that stretch from one end of Engleman halfway across to the other end.”
Political science secretary Karyn Watts said Professor Sarah Roe contacted her a couple of weeks ago about doing the art installation and was interested in supporting the cause.
“We had a short meeting and brainstormed about how to get this going and how to get students involved, and that meeting took place last week,” Watts said.
Watts said it is essential for students to express how they feel about the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“With it being Women’s History Month and ending at the end of March, I think it’s important to continue the conversation and bring attention to this really important issue,” Watts said.
Ward said she created the graphic of a woman’s uterus being stretched left and right on the flyers to express how she felt about the Court’s ruling.
“It was just an idea of us fighting over our own bodies,” Ward said. “We printed flags, and we wanted to have students to come help.”
Ward said this was a way for students to get their hands on something.
“Next year, we might bring it to a bigger end,” Ward said. “We want students to know it’s those small movements that start much bigger movements, and it’s them that can build and create change.”
Watts said there were digital submissions of words posted on a poster from students on how they felt about the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Some words the students wrote were sad, angry, and frustrating.
“We are encouraging students coming in to draw something or add a comment to each of these posters, and they have until March 30,” Watts said.
Ward said a generation thought the Supreme Court would never overturn Roe v. Wade; therefore, no one protected it.
“From what history I learned, it was a flawed ruling, and it was going to fail eventually,” Ward said. “Further protection should have been built into it. I do not think we as women worked hard to protect our own bodies and rights.”
Some students on campus voice their opinion on Roe v Wade and the university’s efforts to give them a voice to express their views.
Computer science major Kimani Dyer, a freshman, said she had not heard about the art installation but disagreed with the Court’s ruling.
“I think women should have their choice and their own contraceptives,” Dyer said. “I feel that the government shouldn’t necessarily put their input in certain people’s bodies.”
Early childhood education major Jillian Garoza, a senior, said she was saddened once she learned about Roe v. Wade news.
“It made me sad, and it made me feel strong emotions,” Garoza said.
Ward said they are contacting students to get involved in this event by sending flyers and emails.
“I think it’s important students know what their rights versus what their rights should be,” Ward said. “They should be engaged in what’s happening around them because it does affect them.”