A senior psychology major at Mars Hill University, Sarah Boler is involved in numerous campus activities, including the volleyball team, the Bonner Scholars, First Year Mentors and Student Government Association. Through the Bonner program, Boler’s mentor, Deb Myers, introduced her to the campus’s National Organization for Women chapter, whose work instantly clicked with the student’s values. Currently the co-president of MHU NOW, Boler spoke with Xpress about role models, racial equity and taking back the night.
What does feminism mean to you?
To me, feminism means equality for everyone and working to alleviate the inequities we see today. Feminism is for all women of all races, gender expressions and backgrounds. It advocates for the rights of all people, and without it I would not be able to be in this current position. I owe a great deal to the women who advocated for my rights, and feminism with all its ideals is at the heart of that.
What is a standout accomplishment that MHU NOW has achieved during your time there?
In my time with NOW, we have organized a period supply drive for community members, hosted campfire sessions for students to share their experiences and planned events to educate [students] on issues such as sexual assault on college campuses. This past fall, NOW led a Take Back the Night rally on campus to let students know that sexual assault had no place at our university and they had support if they needed. We were able to coordinate with the counseling center and Title IX office as well. The support we had from our community and campus was astounding. Our campus came together with administration, students, coaches and faculty alike all in attendance. We hope to make this an annual event and to further advocate for women on campus in this capacity.
What is the biggest issue facing women on your campus?
Historically, feminism has left out women of color, so it makes me proud to be a part of a university striving toward [doing] better. Many members of our faculty have worked to create a Young Women of Color initiative that works to support women of color on campus. By having this measure in place, Mars Hill will be creating lasting changes for future students while advocating for those currently at the Hill.