Student leaders at the University of Southern California voted unanimously this week to remove the word “women’s” from the Women’s Student Assembly, a campus group dedicated to female empowerment.
Members of the university’s student government said the change was motivated by a desire to make the women’s group more inclusive of other gender identities. Its name has been changed to the Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment (SAGE).
“Our mission statement recognizes that we do not just cater to female-identified students, but also cater to students of all gender identities,” SAGE assistant director Maddie Hengst told the Daily Trojan. “We also don’t want to alienate any of our constituency by focusing exclusively on women.”
Thus, a group created to promote the empowerment of women has morphed, in the name of social justice, in order to cater to men, and everyone else. According to the university website, the group formerly known as the Women’s Student Assembly endeavors “to address feminist issues, to engage the community, and to dismantle oppressive structures of power.”
The group is one of several such student assemblies charged “representing the interests of students from a wide variety of backgrounds,” including the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, the Black Student Assembly, the International Student Assembly, the Latino/a Student Assembly, and the Queer & Ally Student Assembly.
The vote to change the female assembly’s name come amid news that the Women’s March on Washington, scheduled to take place next week when President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated, has descended into chaos amid racial divisions and accusations of “white privilege.”
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