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Friday, December 01, 2023

Gainesville Area National Organization for Women, a feminist organization, is hosting its first UF event in response to dozens of emails from students asking the group to move on campus.

Katy Burnett, NOW president and UF political science and history senior, said the political organization focused on empowering female students is looking forward to reaching more students.

"We’ve been getting emails from students for the past couple of months from people living on campus," the 31-year-old said. "There was a need to host events there. We spent a couple of weeks putting together interesting discussions and went for it."

Gainesville Area NOW will host a women’s studies discussion series starting with campus safety on Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. in Ustler Hall.

The organization had an on-campus presence in the 1990s, but it disappeared after most of its members graduated, she said.

"Interest has brought the group back," she said. "We were tabling, and there was just so much interest. We knew we had to work on something quick."

A membership meeting will be held at Maude’s Classic Cafe on Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.

The group has reached out to on-campus organizations such as the Women’s Student Association, which will co-sponsor the Feminism and Women of Color event Oct. 15 at Ustler Hall at noon.

Diamond Delancy, association president and public relations junior, said planning has already begun to collaborate with NOW on the discussion series.

"Gainesville has such a rich feminist history," the 19-year-old said. "I wish there was more off-campus involvement, but I’m glad we’re bringing it to the students."

Delancy said feminist groups such as Wild Iris Books and the National Women’s Liberation chapter in Gainesville also tabled at Radical Rush, hoping to provide more information to students on women’s empowerment.

"As a UF student, you’re not only invested in the UF campus, you’re also invested in the Gainesville community," she said.

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[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 9/26/2014]

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