Blanche Hughes to speak at ASCSU Women’s Caucus on Wednesday

Matthew Bailey

Dr.Blanche Hughes, vice president for Student Affairs at Colorado State University, will speak this Wednesday from 4-5 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Senate Chambers, hosted by the Associated Students of CSU Women’s Caucus.

“We’re really excited about this, and we picked her because of how pivotal she is in advocating for intersectional feminism, all types of diversity and for women in the workplace,” said Merall Sherif, the ASCSU Senator for the Women and Gender Advocacy Center who founded and chairs the Women’s Caucus. “She is the definition of a woman of color flourishing in a traditionally male-dominated space who advocates for all the things that aren’t necessarily easy to talk about.”

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Among other topics, Hughes will speak about the work she has done at CSU and the experiences she has faced in correlation to her identities, Sherif said.

Audience members will be given the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Hughes after she finishes her speech.

“Typically, these are names we hear and read about, but students feel like they can’t get any face time or any contact with them and be able to speak to the people who advocate for them on the level of the entire university,” Sherif said. “In reality, our administration is more than willing to meet one-on-one with students and be able to have an intimate conversation about issues.”

Sherif said she thinks Hughes’s speech is especially important for women in ASCSU to hear, explaining that the Women’s Caucus is a place where women-identifying people can build support in a community that feels comfortable addressing difficult issues in a traditionally male-dominated space, such as the ASCSU Senate itself.

Hughes’s speech will offer students a chance to speak up about social justice issues as well as listen to Hughes’s perspectives on them, and this environment of education and empowerment is what the ASCSU Women’s Caucus is trying to model itself after, Sherif said.

“There’s this beautiful quote in the middle of our campus that says ‘If I have been able to see farther than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants,’ and Dr. Hughes is that giant for me as the chairwoman of the Women’s Caucus and for us as women of the senate,” Sherif said.

Sherif invites all students on campus to take advantage of the opportunity presented with Hughes’s speech this Wednesday.

“Before I got involved with student government, I didn’t know one day that I could just meet Dr. Hughes,” Sherif said. “I didn’t know that I could organize a space for women to speak with her about intimate issues. I always thought I had to read about that in the paper, or that I had to be this important person on campus, when in reality, that’s not it at all. I really just want to extend the warmest and most far-reaching welcome to our entire campus.”

Collegian news reporter Matt Bailey can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @matnes1999.