Lecturer of women’s rights to visit campus

Get ready to feel the girl power, ladies of Murray State.  For decades, women have been encouraged to go after leadership positions in government, their community and careers.

This spring semester, Murray State will collaborate with Elect Her.

Elect Her – Campus Women Win is a program that encourages women to become involved in their student governments and political offices.

The program will include several speakers and activities that will help women who want to be leaders find ways to achieve their goals.

The project will start with Jessica Grounds speaking about the importance of women pursuing leadership positions on campus, in the community and on a national scale. The lecture will be at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Mason Hall Auditorium.

Grounds has been working several years to improve the empowerment of women in politics. She is the executive producer of Running Start, a program that brings 14 college women to Washington, D.C. every year to learn about politics first hand. The women are placed in the roles of political leaders and taught skills that they will use when they become politicians themselves.

Grounds is also is a founder and principal strategist for Solid Grounds strategy, a firm she helped create that helps women who are running for political office for the first time.

According to the Center for American Progress, the United States ranks 60th worldwide in female representation in politics.

This can be a surprising statistic for some, because the United States is home to some of the world’s most influential women, Grounds said.

At the lecture, Murray State’s Student Government Association and the Residential College Association will have tables to encourage women to apply for leadership positions in their groups.

Stephanie Smith, senior from Mount Vernon, Ill., plans to attend Ground’s lecture Wednesday and said she thinks Elect Her will have a positive effect.

“I think women are starting to make themselves more present on the collegiate level,” Smith said. “I think this program is such a good way to let women know that it’s OK to have those leadership positions. It’s not that we need the permission, but it’s so encouraging to see someone accomplish the same things you want to accomplish,”

The Elect Her program is sponsored by the Murray State Women’s Center, and was made possible through the financial support of American Association of University Women and the Pantene Shine Strong campaign.

Story by Taylor InmanStaff writer