Nearly a year after the Women’s March swept across the county, UF students wrote “We the resilient have been here,” and “I’m with her,” on posters Thursday night.
The students are part of a new UF chapter of the National Organization for Women, which held its first general body meeting in the Reitz Union to prepare for the club’s first event: a Women’s March in Orlando to celebrate the anniversary on Sunday. About 30 members wrote signs for the march at the meeting.
“I love that marches are resurging as popular,” said Anna Baringer, a 19-year-old UF statistics and political science sophomore and president of NOW at UF. “If the Women’s March keeps having an anniversary march I would be ecstatic.”
The NOW chapter at UF will join chapters from the University of Central Florida and Florida State University in Orlando. Orlando’s event is one of hundreds across the county. A “celebration of women” will be hosted in Bo Diddley Plaza on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
The group plans to meet at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday at the Commuter Lot and then carpool to Orlando. Despite the club just beginning, Baringer said the timing couldn’t be better to host its first event.
Baringer participated in the Women’s March down in Miami in 2017 where she marched with the League of Women Voters to help increase voter registration.
She said it was a satisfying feeling helping others register to vote at the march itself, and yet she was very surprised at the number of people that attended the march that were not registered voters themselves.
While some members of the executive board have experience with political protests, others said this will be the first march they have attended.
“Personally, it’s going to give me more confidence to advocate for all these rights that are being diminished,” Emilia De Jesus, a 19-year-old UF biochemistry sophomore and deputy director of programming, said.
Kiana Powers, UF psychology freshman and another deputy director of programming, said she is looking forward to her first political protest.
“I’ve never been to a march before, so I’m really excited to have that spirit of solidarity, to see that I’m not the only one who’s been through these problems,” the 18-year-old said. “There are others that can support me and will all be there for the same reasons.”