Women’s Breakfast

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By Taylor Brown, Correspondent

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Women’s Breakfast catered to the fractional demographic of women and gender minorities on campus, using croissants and orange juice to bring Embry-Riddle gender minorities together.

Of course, events like this one are necessary for a reason. It’s no secret that three-fourths of the student body is made up of men, making women and other gender minorities scarce.

These people perpetually have to go the extra mile just to be treated as an equal, prove themselves as someone worthy of respect. Upper-classman Zakiira King views the ratio as a challenge, and “she loves to be challenged.” Men inherently appeal to the ethos of contemporary society, being considered trustworthy and reliable without much of a second thought.

These kinds of micro and macro aggressions are exhausting. Senior Savannah Madden  says that: “Being a computer engineer, there’s been maybe two out of twenty girls in each of the classes I’ve been in.” A stifling ratio, and one that can feel significantly overwhelming without support.

The Women’s Breakfast on Friday took place in Hazy Library at 8:30 a.m, in front of the Undergraduate Research Institute. Embry-Riddle’s gender minority population were offered a variety of pastries, fruit and beverages to start off the morning. Small groups of people congregated at different tables, many meeting for the first time.

Because of the specialized majors on campus, students primarily interact with those in their field of study. Events such as the Women’s Breakfast open up the groups that divide the student body, and bring marginalized groups together.

Dr. Melanie Wilson, director of Embry-Riddle’s Women’s and Diversity Center, prioritizes the equity and equality of gender minorities on campus. She says, “Folks need to stand up, take charge, and make it a priority.” One solution Melanie’s found to gender inequity is unity. By giving women and other gender minorities spaces to come together and realize that they’re not alone perpetuates strength and resilience.

But there is hope. Change is a slow, painstaking process. It takes centuries of persistent advocacy and strength to start acquiring rights and respect. Gender minorities are well on their way, tired and fed up by the constant maltreatment. Megan Strickler, a Riddle Student on our women’s basketball team reminds freshman girls to “Not let anybody break you, be confident and stand your ground.”

Ultimately, the ERAU Women’s Breakfast was just a fraction of the gender minority community being built on campus. There are a multitude of organizations, clubs and safe spaces on campus in similar taste to this event that cater towards gender minorities. Finding clubs such as Women In Aviation, Society of Women Engineers, Women in CyberSecurity, the Women’s Ambassador Program , Pride Network, Gay Pilot’s Association, and Out in STEM (OSTEM) are essential in composing a strong support group of even stronger people.


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