Women have come a long way

Women have come a long way

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As I mentioned before, I am the news director at the radio station on campus, WRMU.  I actually applied for a different position my sophomore year and ending up getting news director because the directors at that time said they thought I would fit the position.  When I started out, I really didn’t have too much of an idea what I’d be doing so I kind of did my own thing.  I started interviewing people who I thought the campus and the community of Alliance would enjoy hearing from.  I’ve covered local events as well and attend the elections each year at the Stark County Board of Elections to report back with live results as they come in.

Last semester, I was driving down State Street (which is the main street in Alliance) and I saw all these women, men and children standing along the road holding signs and yelling something. I didn’t know what was going on but I was pretty sure that they were protesting something.  I always have my recorder on me (for reasons like this) and I decided to stop and interview one of the women.  I was directed to the “leader.”  She told me that they were a group protesting abortion.  It is something that they do every year on that date, and on that specific date, there are also people from all over the country doing the same thing.

I immediately took the audio to the radio station, put a story together and put it on-air for our listeners to understand what was going on in our city.  We actually received an e-mail from a listener about this story who said she didn’t agree with the protesters, but she was glad we did a story so people could see both sides of the argument.

This past week, I attended an event called the “Women’s History Month Dessert.”  Since March is Women’s History Month, the school decided to kick it off by having women in power positions from the city come in to speak with our female students.  Any student was welcome to attend and we all had roundtable discussions.  The keynote speaker was Janet Weir Creighton who is the former mayor of Canton.  She is currently working as a commissioner in Stark County and she spent one year working in the White House alongside President Bush.  She was so fascinating to talk to.  I loved hearing her stories about being in the White House and the other things that she has experienced being in politics for so many years.

Another person I talked to was Phyllis Phillips, who is the ONLY woman on the Alliance City Council right now.  She talked to me about what her duties are as a councilwoman as well as other stories about her life.  She attended Malone College (now Malone University) and she told me that when she went there women and men students had all separate classes.  She said that the times were even staggered so the females and males would never pass each other walking around campus to get to their classes.  I cannot imagine being in school today and having to be completely separated based on what sex you are. It makes me realize truly how far women have come over the years.

I also spoke with Victoria Wood at this event.  She is the executive director of the Alliance and Minerva Red Cross.  She talked to me about what type of person you have to be in order to work at the Red Cross and what she does on a daily basis.  She had interesting stories as well because she is also retired from the military.  I talked to her about what it was like to be in the military as a woman and if she felt that she was treated different because she was a female.  She said there are definitely differences but that they say they are changing things (or trying to) today.

I put some of these stories together already.  They take a long time to sift through all of the interviews to find out exactly what information I’d like to use.  So far, I have two done on Janet Weir Creighton.  If you’d like to listen to her whole speech, which is really interesting and about 15 minutes, that is on the WRMU part of the Mount Union website.  My two stories about Creighton are there as well.  Also, feel free to check out any of my other podcasts that are listed there.

http://www.mountunion.edu/2011-podcasts

I’m sure there will be plenty more news opportunities and stories to come.  Stay tuned!

-Shannon