Tuesday, May 26, 2009

THF: Sonia Sotomayor

Hmm...a Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court of the United States. Hmm...

WAKE UP, SABRINA! YOU'RE DREAMING. Sigh. I hate waking u---WAIT.

A Puerto Rican woman? Who served on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund? The first Latino...wait, no...Latina! Who worked to "provide mortgage insurance coverage to low-income housing and AIDS hospices"? An editor of the Yale Law Journal? Who was "considered as a potential Supreme Court Justice by both Republican and Democratic presidents"? With a pretty impressive resume outside of that, too?

I'll be whistling today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Election procedures meeting minutes

Please find below the meeting minutes from the officer meeting on 5/5/09, one day before the election, to determine the rules for the election.

Hunter Women's Rights Coalition

Officer Meeting Minutes


Meeting called to order at 12:41 PM

I. Budget modification issues
- Jerin had sent an email asking how much money do we have left from the Take Back the Night and Love Your Body Day events
- Emily is not sure how much money she spent on those events, as they occurred a while back
- Emily will give the relevant documents to Renee
- The pizza purchased for $30 in which Emily needs a reimbursement
- Renee handed in budget modification, but Jerin thought a few things needed to be changed.
- A revised budget modification is due by Friday, which will be in time for the next CA meeting on Wednesday the 13th
- Renee says Jerin should submit the budget

II. Election Meeting

- Candidates thus far: Yogita will be running for Secretary, Veronica will be running for Vice President, who was given permission by all 4 more officers, waiving the requirement that candidates attend at least 2 meetings or events. Renee will be running for President.

- Steven moved that as per the HWRC Constitution, that the officers allow ALL people who attend the election meeting to vote, regardless of whether or not they have attended 2 meeting or events. Steven's motion was defeated 3-1, with Jerin, Renee, and Emily voting against, while Steven voted in favor of the motion.

- Renee moved that, in accordance with the HWRC Constitution, that the officers will deal with the question of exempting people who have not attended 2 meetings or events, on a case by case basis. 3 officers will be able to waive the 2 meeting requirements for any active people, allowing those people to vote in the election. This will be done on a person-by-person/case-by-case basis. The motion carried 3-1, with Steven, Renee, and Emily voting in the affirmative, and Jerin voting in the negative. Jerin is on record as stating that she feels that the only people who should vote are those who have attended two meetings or events.

III. Student Activities Award Ceremony- All of us are RSVP'd to attend. If we cannot attend, let Jerin know. It will be on Thursday May 14th at 5 PM

IV. Emily will find out how much she has spent on the Love Your Body Day event

- Jerin will do budget modification with line transfer to the conference

- We will take the leftover money from the Love Your Body Day, Take Back the Night, and the Club Fair events and use it for the NOW Indiana Conference in June

- We will be organizing for the lemonade event

Meeting was adjourned at 1 PM

Thursday, May 21, 2009


As our guest blogger and active member, Sabrina suggested, we must make the governing process of the HWRC more transparent. In a small step toward that attempt, please find below our constitution, which will be worked on over the summer.

Hunter Women’s Right Coalition (HWRC) CONSTITUTION


The name of this organization shall be the Hunter Women’s Right Coalition (HWRC).


The Hunter Women's Rights Coalition is dedicated to furthering gender equality and reproductive justice. Our mission is to raise awareness of, and promote student-led activism on these issues while empowering members and fostering student leadership.


Currently, the club consists of approximately 100 members whose purpose is to promote and achieve our goals and objectives throughout the community. Membership is open to all Hunter College students, faculty, and alumni.


Section 1: Officers

*The following list of tasks was custom made for the strengths and weaknesses of the current E-board. Future officers may change tasks according to their interests.


1. Charter Club

2. Creates meeting Agenda

3. Facilitate meetings, time-keeper

4. Schedule and book a time/date/room for meetings

5. Monitors listserv

6. Photograph events, etc

7. Write press release for events

8. Act as media contact person

9. Works with treasurer to obtain cash advance or reimbursement form in timely fashion

10. Is contact person for co-sponsorship/ Recruit co-sponsors

11. Acts as USG liaison

Vice President:

1. Assure adequate publicity on campus of HWRC events/outreach/on-goings

2. Notify USG and other clubs of event

3. Announces meetings to listserv

4. Creates group polls

5. In charge of group thank-yous: writes & asks people to sign

6. Recruit members to table and make classroom announcements

7. Obtain members’ schedules and create schedule for tabling and class announcements

8. Schedule tabling session and get tabling permit from 1103E

9. Obtains free stuff

10. Is contact person for free stuff distribution


1. Acts as CA liaison

2. Reports at meeting (or on listserv) an account of budget once a month

3. Keeps photocopy of all receipts and records of all money handled

4. Submits paperwork for cash advances in timely fashion

5. Go over with, and updates members on, what they need to know when spending money

6. Buys food, drink, and utensils for meetings and events

7. Buys not free stuff

8. Leads in the purchase of room furniture and decorations


1. Collects the list of who-does-what: group AIM session

2. Checks USG office club mailbox weekly

3. Create, print, and duplicate club fliers

4. Obtain USG stamp on master flier from USG

5. Update membership list

6. Add new members to listserv

7. Email new members when they join

8. Delegate the posting of fliers on campus

9. Takes meeting minutes

10. Accounts for meeting sign-in sheet

11. Posts action items from meeting minutes (post one day after meeting)

12. Keeps HWRC members informed of club activities

13. Maintain group scrapbook

Section 2:

Eligibility for Executive positions may take place after one member nominates another and is seconded by another member, or a member can express interest her/himself. No candidate may run for more than one position simultaneously. Eligibility of running based on active participation in club. Interested members must participate in at least two prior meetings, unless at least three officers of the executive board make an exception.

The election meeting may take place at the ending of the spring semester or the beginning or the fall semester. Eligibility for voting based on active participation in club. Interested members must participate in at least two prior meetings, unless at least three officers of the executive board make an exception. Candidates with the majority of votes are elected for position.

In the event that a board member is unable to fulfill his/her duties (such as in choosing to resign), the remaining executive board officers may appoint an acting officer to take on the position for the remainder of the term. This should be decided during an official executive meeting and should be documented.

Section 3:


Impeachment may take place in the event that an officer fails to fulfill his/her duties. Including and not limited to carrying the club’s objectives. Quorum must be achieved for this decision to take place.

1. Executive Board members shall be automatically removed from office if that said member should be absent from two successive meetings and or events or a total of three meetings and or events a semester without a reasonable excuse.
2. Failure to execute the duties of their office.
3. Failure to communicate with fellow officers, including failure to respond to repeated phone calls, voice mails and or e-mails.
4. Incompetence in the performance of their office.
5. Commission of acts of willful wrongdoing in office, including violation(s) of this constitution and/or any violation(s) as described in the Hunter College and/or CUNY By-laws.
6. Conflict of interest, which would tend to place the official in a position of using their office for personal gain, and placing that gain above the welfare of the members of the entire HWRC body.
7. Violation of a standing order of the HWRC Executive Board while charged with its execution as a delegate of the HWRC

1. Any HWRC member can have charges brought up against him/her investigated by an elected committee chosen from the HWRC body at large excluding the accused person(s) and the accuser(s) for any of the above violations as well.
2. The committee shall conduct an investigation lasting no more than ten (10) days and shall report its findings at a meeting specifically held for this purpose composed of all members of HWRC, or quorum reached as described herein.
3. At this meeting, a full report of the committee and a recommendation of Impeachment (or disciplinary actions) of the accused or the dismissal charges shall be made by the committee.
4. The HWRC shall determine to accept or reject the recommendation of the committee by a 2/3 vote of the members present at this meeting, or by quorum, including vetoing power, as described herein. The accused person(s) and the accuser(s) shall be excluded from this vote.
5. At the time a charge is made against the accused, the attendees of this meeting may decide to suspend the accused pending the outcome of the decision.
6. The accused person(s) may bring forth any arguments and/or documents to defend his/her case.


Meetings are held every Wednesday in the clubroom, TH309, at 1:00 PM, unless otherwise indicated. Discussions of upcoming events, new ideas and actions will take place. Minutes, taken by the club’s Secretary, will be taken and filed at every meeting.


In order to achieve quorum, four members, including at least two officers, are required at meetings in which important decisions are to be discussed and agreed upon. At least two officers must agree to the decision, and a majority vote is needed from present members. Elected officers may have veto power with at least two officers agreeing to the veto.


If an amendment to the constitution is proposed and discussed, voting will take place in a specified meeting. Quorum and majority votes from all elected officers are necessary to decide for an amendment.

Posted by:
Jerin Alam
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force
President, Hunter Women’s Rights Coalition (HWRC)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

THF: Alright, while I'm here.

This is not particularly celebratory. Here are two ways in which women are in the news lately:

Among women, Democrats maintain a solid double-digit advantage in party identification over Republicans, 41% to 27%.

Now, I'm not taking sides for either party. There are a ways to go on women's rights and equality. Now, sure, the Democratic party had Hillary and she keeps on fighting for the rights of women. And the Republican party had, you know...Sarah Palin. But I'm not biased. The fact that I'm interning for the DNC this summer is purely coincidental. I'm just, you know, saying.

Over this time, Republican identification among men has largely been on par with Democratic support, a clear negative sign for the GOP given the solid support the Democratic Party has among women.

HOLY CRAP WE ARE THE REASON THE DNC IS SO STRONG!! I mean, we should keep fighting for women's rights regardless of party affiliation.

Oh...but then...ugh.

This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.

Resume your pessimism. Yikes.

Via Gallup

Saturday, May 16, 2009

THF: Uh...more good news?

One of these fine hombres might be gay. In Uruguay,
they are now allowed to use military weapons to serve their country.

So. Uruguay is going to drop its ban on gays in the military.

"This could conceivably mean that gays can openly serve in the military in Uruguay before their U.S. counterparts get that chance."

So, kudos Uruguay. And let's go U.S.!

Via The Latin Americanist

Image: Uruguay, June 23, 2005 - LTG Bertolotti and honor guard welcome General Craddock at Uruguayan Army HQ. (U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi) from southcom.mil

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

THF: Odd, odd places to find hope

There are times when I want to kill the internet (see map).

FAIL Blog is a place where I go to so often to laugh my butt off. The other day, looking through it for some distractions from my thesis from hell, I stumbled upon this. Now, this was funny for a minute, my reaction being, "LOLWTFOMG??" But the comments under it (I know, the hell am I thinking expecting smart comments on the intertubes) were vile.

Body snarking is so bad and common that Jezebel, a blog for FEMINISTS, is constantly on the lookout for it, but this:

“really,, i’m just dancing in this strip club to take care of my baby!!” never heard that one b4

Oy. Just OY. Yes. I'm sure that you're sofucknighotomg that she just WANTS TO WORK FOR YOU so much. What do you even mean by this? Let's not forget these wise words.

I got to thinking, is there ANY hope on the internet that ISN'T from a news website or a feminist blog? Do we honestly have nothing in common with the mainstream folks?

Nope! It's small, but even your friends who don't call themselves feminists believe in equal pay, and if it were blatant would get upset. So, I thought, some hope has to show up someplace!

I'm going to try to keep a better eye out for it, but just for starters:

Texts from Last Night: (207): using no condom is gross. my vagina has a dress code.

"Fare is Fair" from The L Magazine: I try not to pick up drunks now, unless it's a girl and she looks like she's in trouble. Better I not get paid than she gets in trouble, you know?

I hope you all start to do the same and congratulate those who say such things any way you can. Show them that what they're saying is awesome.

So thank you, 207, and thank you, Joseph. Nicely put. I now don't hate the internet that much.

The Happy/Hopeful Feminist

Monday, May 11, 2009

THF: Don't ask, I'll tell you anyway

Bad news first: "In 2005, the Government Accountability Office found that the cost of discharging and replacing service members fired because of their sexual orientation during the policy’s first 10 years totaled at least $190.5 million. This amounts to roughly $20,000 per discharged service member."

Great news second: "Sandy - Thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful letter. It is because of outstanding Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment. — Barack Obama." [Emphasis mine]

This was Obama's hand-written response to Second Lieutenant Sandy Tsao's letter coming out to her superiors.

I'll keep this brief because of finals (DEATH), but I hope y'all are excited about this!

Cross-posted at Interruption!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Men Can Stop Rape "Men and Women as Allies" conference

Please find below an email I received from Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) about their recent conference in DC, in which I was asked to present on a panel entitled "When Women are Responsible for Working with Men on Campus."

It was an incredible experience, meeting anti-rape activists from around the country. There were some big names present, including Rosario Dawson, Byron Hurt, US Dept of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards.

One of my favorite parts included Ben Atherton-Zeman's performance, which was funny and moving. I was shocked to learn that 1 in 6 men in college are sexually assaulted. I am sorry that as an activist in the field, the high rate of victimization among men surprised me. Most of us had tears in our eyes, listening to the real-life account of one such male, sexually assaulted repeatedly by his friend - a teenage GIRL! Although men perpetrate the majority, about 90% of sexual violence, we need to remember, there are women perpetrators as well.

I had amazing co-presenters, including Connie Kirkland, Director, Sexual Assault Services, George Mason University, who founded the 3rd rape crisis center in the country; and Jen Luettel Schweer, M.A., LPC, Sexual Assault and Health Issues Coordinator, Georgetown University. Joseph Vess, Men Can Stop Rape's Director of Training & Technical Assistance, moderated the panel.

I was humbled when some of the attendees of the panel told us it was their favorite panel. It was lively, with interesting questions raised, and lessons learned from the panelists and the attendees.

I have to thank Joseph Vess of MCSR, who invited me to attend, and covered the costs associated with traveling. Without Joe's help, I would not be able to attend. Some of you might remember meeting him in April 2007, when he and a colleague came to Hunter at our invitation, to present a workshop. Here is an article:

Although I will graduate in June, I plan to stay connected to MCSR, and hope you do the same. MCSR is a progressive and influential organization that is a strong ally in our fight against intimate-partner violence.

Jerin Alam
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force

Hunter Women’s Rights Coalition (HWRC)

Dear Jerin,

The success of "Men and Women as Allies," a National Conference on Primary Prevention of Men's Violence Against Women, far exceeded our expectations - largely because of presentations like yours. More than 300 people gathered to hear keynote speakers Rosario Dawson, Ritu Sharma, Byron Hurt, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Catherine Pierce, and Ben Atherton-Zeman; but it was in workshops that attendees had the chance to participate in dialogue at its most engaging and inspiring.

As was evident in the presentations, all of you are leading the way in primary prevention. You are instituting the programs. You are influencing new prevention policy. You are teaching us that men and women as allies can change the world, making it better for women and children. The conference would have had no legs under it without your expertise and dedication.

We were fortunate to have received outstanding media coverage for "Men and Women as Allies." You can view a story by a Washington, DC CBS affiliate and also see Catherine Pierce's speech on CSPAN. Additionally, there was reporting by Univision, and actress Rosario Dawson's speech will be featured in People Magazine. For Men Can Stop Rape's own coverage of the conference, check out photos taken during both days.

There are various ways you can continue to stay involved. Perhaps you saw the informal survey on "Naming Our Professional Field" in your conference tote bag. You can now complete that survey online. You can also complete the overall conference evaluation online. Both forms will only take a minute or two of your time and your input will be very helpful. Finally, please continue the conference conversations at the newly created "Men and Women as Allies" listserv.

We greatly appreciate your support as an ally and hope it will continue in the future. In turn, Men Can Stop Rape will continue to stand beside you, working to create cultures free from violence, especially men's violence against women