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Women’s issues organization started on campus

January 30, 2014
STOFF

STOFF

 

Paul Dauterive
Staff Reporter

 

A new chapter of the American Association of University Women has officially been established at Louisiana Tech.

 

Tech history professor Laurie Stoff spearheaded the effort to form AAUW, a national organization that advocates for many women’s issues.

 

“The organization addresses issues like pay equity, sexual harassment and promotes post-graduate education for women,” Stoff said. “Staff members could apply to AAUW for post-graduate study grants.”

 

Stoff said Louisiana has one of the widest pay gaps in the country between women and men.

 

“If you look around our campus, men are over-represented,” Stoff said. “We have more male faculty and administration.”

 

Stoff said she was forwarded an email by another Tech professor that contained an invitation from the president of AAUW in Louisiana.

 

“I have been a member since grad school,” Stoff said.

 

“I got in touch with the president, and I recruited four students to drive down to a conference with me.”

 

Stoff said the group of students at the AAUW conference decided that their next conference in February should be held at Tech.

 

Stoff said this chapter has institutional affiliation, which means that the university pays a annual fee to AAUW to cover undergraduate membership. This allows Tech students to join for free.

 

“We want this to become a stable organization at Tech and be part of the Ruston community,” she said.

 

Stoff said AAUW does not have any preference for gender and the only requirements for membership are to be an undergraduate or a graduate of a four-year university.

 

Dr. Steven Toaddy, a psychology professor, is assisting Stoff as another faculty adviser for AAUW.

 

“I saw the email and came to the first meeting,” Toaddy said. “I thought I could support the group by helping with whatever I could and maybe be there when Laurie could not.”

 

Toaddy said his research is in organizational justice and his expertise could be beneficial to AAUW.

 

At the last AAUW interest meeting, officers were elected for the new organization.

 

Caroline Hymel, a senior history major, was elected president of AAUW at Tech.

 

Hymel said she thinks it is great that Tech has established a chapter in a national organization. “We really need it,” Hymel said.

 

Hymel said that she hopes the efforts of the organization can draw more women to Tech by showing the pride Tech has for its professional women.

 

Email comments to pdd010@latech.edu.

 

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