Campus / News / February 28, 2018

Bodies Week participation falls flat

 

The cover of the Bodies Week zine produced by SASS shows a diversity of legs. The zine features writings by students and is a yearly part of Bodies Week. (Graphic courtesy of Dana Dombrowski)

Students Against Sexism in Society (SASS) was disappointed with the turnout for their Bodies Week events, saying they did not get the word out to students soon enough.

“I know next year we’re going to work on getting more people involved, we’re going to advertise it a lot sooner, probably during the Fall Term,” SASS Co-President and sophomore Kira Carney said.

The week featured various events focusing on body positivity including films, workshops and the culminating Bodies Week photos gallery on Saturday. The gallery is the largest event during Bodies week and garners the most participation from students and faculty.

Carney said that SASS had issues getting the word out this year, partly because of difficulties they had with the Campus Life Office in getting their events into the campus events letter. She also mentioned that SASS organized their events later than originally planned, which left those students who wished to take photos for the gallery less time to do so. Carney hopes that next year SASS will begin advertising and working on the project during Fall Term to let students take photos over winter break.

Sophomore Dana Dombrowski, SASS Historian and Graphic Designer, said that it was also difficult this year because the exec board is made up entirely of new people. This meant they did not have any experience organizing the week beyond helping with events last year. Furthermore, Carney was studying abroad during Fall Term.

Sophomore Tessa Moore took photos for the gallery. She said she remembers the gallery being larger last year.

“I saw the gallery last year, and after seeing everyone’s pictures and how they were going about it, I was like, ‘Oh, this is really cool, I want to do something like this,’” Moore said. “And use creativity with photography and stuff.”

This year also continued past Bodies Week traditions with the production of a zine. Dombrowski was in charge of the zine, which publishes students’ writing anonymously.

“It’s such a difficult topic of your body and your relationship [to it], and also possibly really negative experiences with mental illness or whatever the case may be for you, [we wanted] to give them a little more of like a safe-space to express their feelings in writing and put it out there,” she said.

Dombrowski explained that the zine gives students who are not comfortable taking pictures a way to share their experiences, as well as letting those who do take pictures explain some of their thoughts and feelings about doing so.

Bringing her experience from working on Cellar Door, Dombrowski hosted a workshop on Feb. 19 for students who submitted work for the zine to come in and go through it with SASS members. However, only one person showed up.

The planned film screening on Tuesday also had issues. Originally, Carney and Co-president and junior Eden Sarkisian realized they might have issues with rights for the movie “Embrace.”

“[We were going to show] an awesome documentary on YouTube that we didn’t really need rights for, I think, but nobody [came],” Carney said.

Other events were better attended, such as the Bodies, Boundaries & BDSM Workshop on Thursday, which Dombrowski organized. The event followed a similar one last year which Dombrowski felt had been an important resource for students in an area where resources on safety can be hard or embarrassing to find.

“I kind of brought [the workshop] up again just because it seemed like it was a positive experience for people last year,” she said. “I wanted to host the workshop with the frame that even if you don’t really already participate in it you can just come to this workshop to see what it’s about, because there are a lot of false portrayals of BDSM, especially in our current pop culture.”

Despite issues with attendance at the events and a lack of experience organizing Bodies Week, the SASS exec board were proud of their efforts this year and have already begun discussing where to make improvements.

“Overall, I was proud of us because this year we had a completely new executive board from last year. Most of the exec board graduated so we were kind of just on our own,” Dombrowski said.

 

Eden Sarkisian is the discourse editor for TKS.

Connor Wood, Co-News Editor
Connor Wood is a sophomore majoring in English Literature. He started at The Knox Student in the fall of his freshman year as a volunteer writer for News.

Tags:  bodies week body positivity SASS Sexism zine

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