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The University Star




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Women-led student organizations promote, empower diverse voices

Members+of+I+Am+That+Girl+at+the+San+Marcos+River+Cleanup%2C+Oct.+2%2C+2021.

Members of I Am That Girl at the San Marcos River Cleanup, Oct. 2, 2021.

As Women’s History Month begins this March, various women-led student organizations at Texas State will continue their missions of advocating for women and amplifying their voices.
Organizations across the nation, such as I Am That Girl, seek to foster a community where women from around the world can inspire, learn and educate one another. In 2016, Texas State joined other universities and opened its own chapter of the nonprofit organization, becoming a modified version of the group as it seeks to empower both women and nonbinary individuals.
Vice President of Marketing for I Am That Girl Texas State Madi Fujawa said one of her favorite things about being involved in the organization is the sense of community that comes with meeting new people and discussing topics such as family relationships, self-love and body image.
“I think what’s really special about empowering women within our community is finding our voices, finding like-minded individuals, hearing different perspectives, being able to relate to those perspectives [and] realize that we’re not alone,” Fujawa, a communication design junior, said. “Having that community and support I think is important for everyone to have.”
In addition to meeting at 7 p.m. every other Monday at the LBJ Student Center in room 2-21.1, members of I Am That Girl also volunteer at the Hays-Caldwell County Women Center and campus-related events such as Bobcat Build.
The group also partakes in at least one social event a month where they dedicate themselves to empowering one another. Most recently, members wrote letters to their future selves during a Galentine’s Day social, and they also wrote down their insecurities on pumpkins before smashing them last fall.
Similar to I Am That Girl, Texas State Sirens also focuses on empowering women. The organization was established in 2021 after Texas State Sirens Founder and President Remle Herzberg was inspired by UA Venus, a student organization at the University of Alabama that serves as a safe space for women of all backgrounds, sexualities and gender identities, to create a group on campus where women felt like they belonged.
“The overall goal of the organization is creating a network of women on campus from all different kinds of walks of life,” Herzberg, an electronic media junior, said. “Having that network makes it easier to make it a safer place on campus where if there ever is an issue everyone else can kind of back you up. They can all kind of work together in order to make campus a safer place.”
To move forward in the creation of the organization, Herzberg talked to four of her friends about the idea. They all spent last summer on Zoom calls brainstorming how to bring their idea to fruition and officially launched the club in August.
The name of the organization, Texas State Sirens, was created to encompass both the Texas State and San Marcos communities. “Sirens” is a term used to describe powerful, mythical creatures similar to mermaids. Since San Marcos has been recognized as the mermaid capital of Texas, the group found its name to be fitting as it incorporated both the local and campus community.
One of the goals in creating the organization was to create a safe space for women to connect and openly discuss topics such as the pressures of social media, mental health and body image.
During Women’s History Month, the organization is planning to post stories on its Instagram, @txstsirens, to highlight its members and uplift their voices and stories. Texas State Sirens Marketing Officer Katie Krupinski said it’s crucial to let women know the importance of making their voices heard, especially in college.
“Your voice is very important and it’s super powerful but also coming from that is a consequence [that] your words hold a lot of weight,” Krupinski, a public relations junior, said. “I think that’s super powerful to just know that you’re okay about talking about those things because so many people can relate to and experience that.”
The Sirens have bi-weekly meetings at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the LBJ Teaching Theater. Members host at least one social event per month like picnics and movie nights. Along with their meetings and socials, members host volunteer events such as canned food drives and a blanket-making event for a local women’s shelter.
Women of Gold is another organization on campus dedicated to promoting and enhancing diverse voices. Since 2015, Women of Gold has prided itself on serving as a community-service-based organization that focuses on the principles of grace, optimism, love and dignity. Members have also donated to local nonprofits in the past such as the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center.
The group focuses on functioning as a safe space for diverse voices. Women of Gold President Kenadee Fears said members discuss topics such as relationships and mental health.
“For me, Women of Gold is just a very safe space for women,” Fears, a health science junior, said. “It is a minority organization so there are all different kinds of races [that] come together. It’s a safe space because we talk about a range of topics that we as women deal with every day.”
During meetings, members have the option to submit topic ideas via a submission box. Topics submitted are then discussed in future meetings. Fears said she has implemented this to ensure the women in the organization are having their voices heard.
In the future, Fears plans to introduce meeting topics where members can build their confidence and learn how to be okay with who they are as individuals.
“When women speak up is when we have our own courage and become a strong front because we are typically looked to be more quiet,” Fears said. “So, when we do speak up, it’s like you have your own voice. I feel like [women] don’t realize that we have a voice so it’s important that we actually use our voice.”
Women of Gold meets at various times throughout the semester. During the first week of March, the group will host a “Golden Week” where members can participate in an event every day such as a meeting about bedroom boundaries, a river clean-up volunteer event and a brunch.
These organizations seek to continue bringing awareness to the experiences and accomplishments of women throughout March. With their meeting topics and discussions, the groups’ leaders hope their actions can create a safe space for all women at Texas State.
“There’s a lot that goes on in a college campus,” Krupinski said. “So, we want to give girls a safe space where they know that they have a community of people that they can confide in, but also feel like they’re not being judged [for] talking about things that are very prevalent to so many of us.”

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  • Members of Texas State Sirens smile for a group photo at a movie night event in the LBJ Student Center.

  • Women of Gold officers pose for a group photo.

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