VOX returns to the University
By Aneyceia Brim
Dec 6th, 2016
The club has received new leadership after being inactive for months. Monica Dymerski, a second-year transfer student who plans to graduate in 2018 and Leslie Machabee, a first-year student, have been the driving force behind restoring the club.
VOX is a national organization targeted towards college students. “Vox” is the Latin word for voice. The club encourages young adults to get involved in lobbying for reproductive rights and healthcare.
The club directly supports Planned Parenthood, a national clinic that offers reproductive health services and education.
There are currently 19 VOX chapters in Washington State and over 150 in the country.
Dymerski and Machabee met in their perspectives group.
“[Dymerski] transferred from another school because she was frustrated with the lack of social justice at her previous school,” Machabee said.
Dymerski was very excited to join VOX, but when the pair went to LogJam together, there was no sign of it. After investigating with the Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound (ASUPS), they went through the process of restarting the club.
Since then, the pair has received support from Dave Wright, the Director of Spiritual Life and Civic Engagement, as well as the Center of Intercultural and Civic Engagement.
“We were just blown away. [Dave Wright and CICE] reached out to us out of the blue, which is amazing. That doesn’t happen anywhere else. We would have to find help,” Machabee said.
Marta Cady, Associate Dean of Students and Director of New Student Orientation, as well as advisor of Sexuality Issues, Relationships and Gender Education, is now the advisor of the current VOX campus. Cady has supplied the new club with resources from the old club such as Planned Parenthood brochures, pins and condoms.
Machabee currently serves as the club’s treasurer and handles fundraising and the club budget. Dymerski is the club president.
Future projects they plan to hold include a feminine hygiene products drive in the spring, but the club also wants to focus on raising money for local Planned Parenthood branches.
The club currently works with the Tacoma Planned Parenthood and the Bellingham Planned Parenthood, which is directly affiliated with VOX.
“We’re not working on on-campus reproductive health accessibility as much as we are general reproductive health accessibility. So fundraising is one of our big goals,” Machabee said.
Volunteer shifts are being arranged for members who want to assist Planned Parenthood.
VOX posts its meeting dates and times on its Facebook page and also sends out information through its mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are held in the Student Diversity Center.
“As an advantaged white woman, I feel that it is crucial to use my privilege for good; being involved in an activist and philanthropic community is the best way for me to do that,” Machabee said.