Lander, Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation's
Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) started the Campus
Program to inform young feminists about the very real
threats to abortion access, women's rights, affirmative
action, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
rights posed by right-wing extremists. FMF works with
students on college campuses across the country offering
a full time staff of Campus Organizers.
FMF has the largest staff of any other organization
completely devoted to supporting feminist activism on
college campuses. Campus
Organizers work closely with students and faculty
nationwide to launch and grow Feminist Majority Leadership
Alliances (FMLAs) on college campuses. They work closely
with established FMLAs to recruit participants and organize
successful events, help student activists enhance their
campus feminist organizing and leadership skills, and
provide students and faculty with access to cutting-edge
news and information, resources, and materials.
Click "Ask a Question"
on the right to submit a question to the organizers,
then check back in 24-48 hours for the answer!
Priyanka : I'm a high school student and would like to start a chapter on my campus but there is no option for high schools on the sign up,how can I sign my high school up??
Campus Organizers: Although the FMF’s Campus Program is geared towards groups on college campuses, we would love to help you start an FMLA at your high school! If you are a high school student and are interested in starting a group, there are a few things that we suggest:
First, make sure you have 3-5 interested students who would like to start the group with you; it is also great to talk to a teacher who you think could be a faculty advisor for your group. We would also suggest that you check out the missions and principles that our groups subscribe to, you can read all about them here: http://www.feministcampus.org/fmla/program-materials/feminist_majority_documents.asp#mission also check out the FMLA constitution here: http://www.feministcampus.org/fmla/program-materials/constitution.asp. It would also be wise for you to check out what procedures and policies your school has for student organizations, maybe ask your counselor or a teacher. Your next step is to contact us, either by emailing email@example.com or calling toll free at 1-866-444-3652, with your school name and state, you will then be directed to the Campus Organizer who is in charge of working with groups in your area.
We hope this clears up any confusion about high school campus groups, and we can’t wait for you to become a part of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance community!
The Campus Team
Debbie: What's going on with EC?
Campus Organizers: Here’s the latest news on EC...
On Friday, July 15th, 2005 Senators Clinton (D-NY) and Murray (D-WA) lifted their hold on the nomination of Lester Crawford as permanent head of the FDA, after receiving assurance from Health and Human Services Secretary Leavitt that the FDA will make a decision on the over-the-counter (OTC) status of Plan B by September 1, 2005. Setting a deadline for a decision on EC is definitely good news, but we must continue to urge the FDA to make EC available OTC without restrictions until action is actually taken. Send a letter to Dr. Crawford today by visiting http://www.overthecounterec.org, and tell him that by this Septmeber 1st deadline, we want EC OTC!
If and when EC is approved for over-the-counter use, we will still have a lot of work to do in making it accessible to women all over the U.S. It will be up to EC activists to increase education and awareness about EC, ensure that pharmacies carry EC over-the-counter, and continue to fight for increased availability for all women of all ages. For ideas for EC activism if the FDA approves EC OTC, watch for Feminist Majority Foundation Campus Action Alert Emails, and check out www.overthecounterec.org and www.feministcampus.org in the days following the FDA decision.
The Campus Team
Chanza: Using the name feminist really turns some of our students off. Should we call our group something else?
Campus Organizers: The word feminist is indisputably one of the more contentious words in the American lexicon—everyone can list the stereotypes associated with the word. Countless feminist activists, especially those on conservative campuses, have asked themselves whether using the word “feminist” intimidates otherwise interested students or discourages them from participating.
Choosing a name is something each group has to address seriously, taking into consideration the campus political climate and the goals of the organization. Calling yourself a feminist group is an opportunity to educate people who could totally be on our side, but not know it. People are down for equality and ending sexism; they just have to step outside themselves and try to recognize the sexist paradigms they learned growing up.
Below is a list of several arguments in favor of using the word feminist:
--The word feminist connects us to over 200 years of history surrounding the struggle for women’s rights in the United States. Being conscious of where we’ve been as a movement will help us avoid past mistakes and develop a clearer vision of where we want to go.
--It is important that we not allow others to define us. Why should we let Rush Limbaugh and other members of the radical right frame the debate by accepting their stereotypes of feminism? Instead of abandoning the word, we should continue to show people through our actions what feminism is truly about.
--Calling oneself a feminist conveys a political commitment absent in less controversial names such as the Campus Women’s Collective. The word is so commanding, and that’s why right winged conservatives want to discourage you from using it. Some conservatives have even taken to calling themselves feminist like Feminists for Life and Independent Women’s Forum because they know the word means equality and denotes strength and unity.
Remember no matter what we call ourselves, the radical conservative right will find a way to tarnish it and try to take it away from us. So why not use a word that means so much?! bell hooks once said, “people are so afraid of it (feminism), yet the only thing they know about feminism is what they've heard from white supremacist capitalists patriarchal society/media who are inherently biased and don't know the true meaning anyway--not feminists themselves.”
-The Campus Team
Maia: What things are you focused on this semester? What things can I connect to my group on campus?
Campus Organizers: The biggest event of the spring semester for the FMF will be the National Collegiate Global Women’s and Human Rights Conference that we will be hosting in DC Saturday April 9th and Sunday April, 10th (with an optional Congressional Visit Day on Monday April 11th.) The goal of this conference is to educate and mobilize young people on a range of foreign policy issues and create a supportive network for progressive US foreign policy. Workshops and panels will include student leaders, and leaders in the women’s rights, anti-slavery, anti-globalization, human rights, peace, and environmental movements.
Students from Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances and affiliate groups, as well as students involved in other progressive groups are invited to participate. Non-students who are interested in these issues are also welcome to attend. Join us and be part of creating campus campaigns to promote positive US global engagement!
More information, including registration, is available on the conference website, just visit http:.//www.feministcampus.org.
Jill: Didn’t the FDA already reject EC for over-the-counter status? Why is the FMF doing this campaign again?
Campus Organizers: It is true that in May 2004, Barr Laboratories applied for over-the-counter (OTC) status for its emergency contraceptive Plan B, but they were given a “not approvable” letter by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This decision was made despite the fact that the FDA's own expert advisory panel deemed the drug to be safe and effective and voted 23-4 in favor of making Plan B available over-the-counter.
This summer a new application for the OTC status of Plan B was submitted with a complicated novel packaging requirement- the “dual label,” a ploy that would deny OTC EC to women younger than 16.
We cannot allow anti-reproductive rights extremists to get away with taking this women's health and public health breakthrough product away from women seeking to avoid unintended pregnancy. This is why we have renewed the EC OTC campaign. It is imperative that we once again send thousands of messages to the FDA in support of OTC status for Plan B. And there’s not time to waste, because the FDA will make a decision by January 2005! So make sure go to http://www.feministcampus.org/act/prescribechoice/index.asp today for links to send a letter, tell your friends, and spread awareness about this important issue.
--The Campus Team
jacqueline: "Being feminist and being pro-choice go hand in hand. "
If you are a feminist and also pro-choice than thats fine. But to say that they go hand in hand is wrong. I know many women who are feminists and are not entirely pro-choice. And that doesnt make them any less of a feminist.
Don't generalize and speak for all feminists, please.
Campus Organizers: In our answer about the Feminists For Life anti-choice group we said that “being feminist and being pro-choice go hand in hand.” This is a statement that we stand by as being necessary to the definition of feminism.
Reproductive rights are fundamental to the work of the feminist movement, because women cannot gain full social, political, and economic equality without full control over their bodies, their health, and their personhood. Feminism is about full equality between women and men. Full social, economic, and political equality cannot be achieved without granting women the freedom and trust to make responsible decisions about their reproductive lives.
Being pro-choice is not about being pro-abortion. The pro-choice position respects every woman’s right to make responsible decisions about her reproductive life – whether choosing to terminate a pregnancy, place for adoption, or carry to term. Furthermore, being pro-choice includes options of contraception in order to prevent unintended pregnancies from occurring in the first place.
If you would like more detailed information about our pro-choice stance, please feel free to email the Campus Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
--The Campus Team
Kristen Gross: The anti choice group at my school has been putting up signs from Feminists for Life. Do you have any advice on countering this?
-Kristen Gross West Chester University
Campus Organizers: Feminists for Life is an anti-women’s rights, anti-abortion organization, working to eliminate the right to safe, legal, and accessible abortion. Feminists for Life are completely anti-abortion, even in cases of rape or incest or life endangerment of the woman. This organization says that women don’t want to have abortions, but “have” to have them because they don’t have access to child care, or pre and post natal care, and that there isn’t social support for unwed mothers.
Being feminist and being pro-choice go hand in hand. Feminists for Life appropriate feminist language and theory, calling abortion “the ultimate form of violence against women,” even though they protest with Joe Scheidler from Operation Rescue, one of the most violent anti-abortion extremist groups in the country. They also do not officially support contraception of any kind.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can mobilize the pro-choice feminist community on your campus to combat right wing groups like Feminists for Life:
--Create a “Faces of Feminism” campaign to strengthen the feminist community on campus.
--Host a showing of Never Go Back or of Revelations. Invite faculty or staff to come, and have a speak-out about feminism and/ or being pro-choice.
--Conduct a “did you know?” campaign by making signs of your own exposing the right wing stance of this group or by writing a letter to the editor.
As always, feel free to let us know if you need anymore help by contacting us at 1-866-444-FMLA or email@example.com.
Cameron: If I register to vote in my college community, does that change my permanent residence for other purposes, such as determining where I live for purposes of in-state tuition or for my drivers’ license?
Campus Organizers: No. The criteria for determining residency for voting are different than for other purposes, such as where a person resides for purposes of tuition or for the Department of Motor Vehicles. You do not change your residency for any other purpose by registering to vote in your college community.
Jordan: Where may I register to vote?
You may register at any place you deem to be your “residence.” This can be where you live during college (after all, you spend nine months, or more, a year there) or your parents’ address (if you still consider it your residence). It is entirely your choice, but you may register and vote only in one place for any election day.
Monica: Am I really a resident of my college community for purposes of voting?
Campus Organizers: Yes. The United States Supreme Court has expressly ruled that college communities must allow students to register to vote there. (United States v. Symm, 439 U.S. 1105 (1979)). In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau counts college students as residents of their college communities. Federal funds are given to cities based on figures that include the student population.
Betty: Is there a way for me to get more involved in FMF's Get Out Her Vote campaign on my campus?
Campus Organizers: You can get involved in GOHV on your own college campus in a number of different ways and at different levels of participation. Depending on your time we have opportunities for you. To find out more about any or all of these roles you can sign up for the campaign online at www.getouthervote.org, or you can call us toll free at 1-866-444-FMLA and ask to talk to the Campus Organizer for your campus who can explain the GOHV campaign to you in detail and answer any questions you may have.
Crystal: How can I find out who my campus organizer is this year?
Campus Organizers: To learn more about your Campus Organizers for the 2004-2005 academic year go to our new and improved Organizers page at http://www.feministcampus.org/fmla/organizers/ Also, you can always call us toll free at 1-866-444-FMLA and ask for the Organizer for your campus or state.
Minah: What projects are the Feminist Majority Foundation working on this fall?
Campus Organizers: The Campus Team’s major campaign for the rest of 2004 is Get Out Her Vote, a nationwide voter registration and mobilization drive to inspire young women on college campuses to register and vote on November 2nd. To learn more about how you can get involved in this campaign go to http://www.getouthervote.org.
The Feminist Majority Foundation as a whole is working on many other campigns including, Global Reproductive Rights, Women and Policing, and Women in Sports (Title IX). For more information about these and other campaigns, as well as access to extensive feminist job listings and the latest feminist news, go to http://www.feminist.org.
Carmen Aguilera: I'm a women of color who just go involved in the movement. How can I get active with feminist group on campus and make sure they are reaching out to other latina women?
Campus Organizers: One of the best ways to get the feminist group on campus to do outreach to women of color is to get involved in the group and help make programming and event-planning decisions. If the feminist group on campus isn’t very diverse then they may not be aware of what resources are out there or the range of issues affecting various women. They may also be worried about programming that may seem condescending. I found it especially helpful to be involved in groups for students of color, Latino groups and the women’s union at my college. I was able to encourage coalitions and joint programming. It is very important that programs for Latinas come from Latinas. Actually, it is very important that any dialogue genuinely involve the people it represents.
If you would like to talk about this or any other issue concerning organizing on your campus, please feel free to call us toll free at 1-866-444-FMLA and talk to me or any of our Campus Organizers. Our Campus Team is a diverse group of recently graduated young women who have had extensive experience in organizing college aged feminists from all different backgrounds, and for all kinds of different causes, and we would be happy to help you with any questions you may have!
--Natalia, Campus Organizer
Tabitha: I was trying to find who were the judges on the Roevswade Supremecout.Would also like to know who were Democratic Party and the Republican Party.If it was the Dem. or Rep. party who did the overturn.
Campus Organizers: A bunch of good historical information about Roe v. Wade can be found in the Study and Action Manuel (SAM) at www.feministcampus.org/know/sam. But for the answer to your question I had to go to the Supreme Court’s homepage where I found that the nine judges who decided Roe v. Wade were Warren Earl Burger, Thurgood Marshall, Harry A. Blacknum, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Byron Raymond White, Potter Stewart, William J. Brenman, Jr., and William Orville Douglas. For more detailed information visit www.supremecourtus.gov.
The most important thing to keep in mind about Roe v. Wade is that it is in serious danger of being overturned, and the outcome of the Presidential election in November will decide whether or not this happens. The most recent Supreme Court decision on abortion was razor-thin, 5-4 in favor of women’s right to choose. The Court will have several vacancies in the next four years, and the addition of even one more anti-abortion Justice could result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important for young women, who will be affected by the fate of Roe v. Wade more than any other group, to vote on November 2nd!
If this is an issue that is important to you and you would like to know how to get more involved with registering and mobilizing young women to vote in the upcoming election, join the FMF in their Get Out Her Vote campaign by visiting http://www.getouthervote.org!
Jonathan: I was wondering how I might be able to order "This is what a FEMINIST looks like" stickers for an upcoming event. Thanks!
Campus Organizers: Unfortunately, we temporaily out of stock of the “This is what a Feminist looks like” stickers, we do however have the shirts, which you can order online at www.feminist.org/store/index.asp. Check back with us in a couple weeks regarding the stickers
Nicky: Other than the March, what other things does the FMF do to support women's rights?
Campus Organizers: The March for Women’s Lives was only one of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s many campaigns to promote political, economic, and social equality for women in the U.S. and all over the world.
FMF has a comprehensive Campus Program designed to provide progressive students with opportunities to learn about timely feminist issues, develop their leadership skills, and connect with the larger feminist movement. These goals are achieved through the work of a full-time staff of Campus Organizers who work closely with our campus groups, called Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances, and provide them with the support that they need.
Our major campus campaigns for 2004-2005 school year include:
Get Out Her Vote, a nationwide voter registration and mobilization drive to inspire young women on college campuses to register and vote on November 2nd.
Global Reproductive Health and Rights, a campaign in which students educate their campus community on the need for reproductive health services in developing countries. Students also advocate for increased funding and support for reproductive health care.
Prescribe Choice, students advocate for improved women's health services on campus and work with their campus health center to increase availability and accessibility of reproductive health services, in particular emergancy contraception.
In addition to these campaigns, the Feminist Majority Foundation recently became the publisher of Ms. Magazine, which has been a well-known feminist magazine since 1973.