March 28, 2020

International Women’s Day on campus celebrates equality, history

This past Monday, March 9, was Capital’s celebration for International Women’s Day, organized by Sienna Hill, Megan Douglas, and Carly Woolwine through the Women’s Empowerment Alliance. 

Lleft to right: Carly Woolwine, Megan Douglas, Sienna Hill

The university held multiple sessions on campus, including a presentation by Jennifer Vrobel and the other a showing of the student-made documentary, Dear Miss Conrad

Vrobel’s session was titled “A League of Her Own.” 

Jennifer Vrobel, right, held a session called “A League of Her Own.”

She told the story of her experience as a girl on her high school’s boys’ baseball team, and connected her life to clips from the movie A League of Their Own

The main focus that tied this section of the presentation together was the discrimination Vrobel faced as a woman in a male-dominated area. She showed the clip of a male coach yelling at one of his female players that “there’s no crying in baseball!” After that, she talked about having to hide all of her emotions around her male teammates for fear of looking weak. 

After telling parts of her own story, Vrobel moved on to talk about some of the problems women are facing, focusing on education. 

She discussed young girls who love science just as much as their male classmates, but were unlikely to pursue a career in STEM fields. Women are told science and math focused careers are unfeminine, and that they would be unable to have a successful career and a happy family life. 

Another surprising statistic she shared was that there are currently more female undergrads in American universities. However, the more advanced a degree program is, the more male students there were—women are being discouraged or possibly even shut out of Master’s and doctoral programs. 

Dear Miss Conrad, a student-made documentary about the university during World War II, was the last event of the day.

It tells the story of Capital University students and alumni through letters left behind by former head librarian Dorothea Conrad. Matthew Longfellow, a sophomore involved with the movie who was at the showing for a quick Q&A, said the biggest obstacle was struggling to sift through all of Miss Conrad’s letters to find one coherent story to focus on. 

Student-produced documentary Dear Miss Conrad was shown on International Women’s Day.

That story was the connections between the students and alumni fighting overseas and those who stayed in Bexley as their support system. In 1942, the editor of The Chimes organized a letter writing program where those fighting would receive letters, copies of The Chimes, and bulletins. 

One of the most popular letter writers was the titular Miss Conrad. She left a box of her replies in the library archives, just waiting to be found and gone through. 

Woven in and out of Miss Conrad’s correspondence, viewers learn about Capital’s position during the war. 

As a Lutheran school attached to a German Lutheran seminary, the university was unfairly assumed to be at least somewhat sympathetic to Germany during the war. But, sitting in the middle of a traditionally Jewish community, Capital worked hard both during and after the war to distance their German heritage and German founding from the Nazie party. 

One way they did this was through the statue that now sits in front of Trinity Seminary, showing the community coming together to remember the tragedies of the Holocaust. 

Women’s Empowerment Alliance plans on continuing this tradition for years to come, and would love for it to be as big as Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the future.

  • Becca DeLong is a senior at Capital University and a reporter for the Chimes. She is an English Literature major, a History minor, the Vice President of Sigma Tau Delta, and an Oxford comma enthusiast.

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