By Jenny Rossberg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at the College of William and Mary. Connect with Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William and Mary’s Voices for Planned Parenthood club, or VOX, had a very productive pro-choice month. Starting with the Activities Fair at the beginning of the semester, we’ve been working hard to recruit new students to participate in VOX. VOX has a lot of new members this year including freshmen, transfer students, and older William and Mary students who heard about the club last year and decided to get more involved this semester.
The fair was a really good way to get our message out to the school. We reserved a table, set up our world-famous VOX tri-fold and had a laptop on hand to take down the contact information of interested students. By the end of the night we received over 160 email addresses!
After our successful tabling at the Activities Fair, VOX has tabled twice outside of the Sadler food court on campus. Normally we hand out condoms and information about Planned Parenthood and NARAL, as well as general information about sexual health and STI prevention.
Last Friday, we also put out voter registration forms in honor of National Voter Registration Day and registered several students. We got awesome new condoms, pens, buttons, and information from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia that were super popular among the students.
In addition to our bi-monthly tabling events, VOX holds a weekly meeting every Monday at 8 PM in which members discuss current events pertaining to pro-choice activism and ideas for activism on campus.
In our first meeting we discussed the state of women’s reproductive rights in Virginia and what issues members thought the club should target this year.
Members generally agreed that we should raise awareness about the deception of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, reach out to more men, and try to normalize and personalize stories about abortion. We’ll also be campaigning for pro-choice candidates in the upcoming elections this fall.
Taking a break from our more serious meetings, however, VOX spent the third Monday this September making chocolate pops shaped like penises and vaginas. We plan to sell these fun treats at our next tabling event to raise money for our club and awareness about sexual health on campus. Trying to melt chocolate in the single, dingy microwave we had was a bit of a challenge, but in the end they turned out looking great!
VOX is looking forward to a few larger events later this semester. Some of our club members are heading to Richmond this weekend to participate in a clinic defense. We are also hoping to help table with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia at a Farmer’s Market later this fall!
Overall, the semester is already off to a great start.