Christa Rodriguez || Layout Assistant
Thursday night, F&M’s V-Warriors hosted a Period Party in the College Center Atrium from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The event featured games, prizes, and performances from a number of on-campus groups. All proceeds and donations to the event support Clare House, a women’s shelter in downtown Lancaster.
The Period Party is named with the intent to, as V-Warriors president Ceci Plaza explained, spark conversation about periods. “Period Party 2016 is so named in an attempt to start dismantling the stigma around menstruation, both in our community and around the world,” Plaza said.
Plaza said there are many consequences of that stigma for girls and women. This includes time lost at work and school, a lack of education about women’s bodies and reproductive health, and a dearth of conversation about reproductive health and sexuality in general.
The V-Warriors hope that the Period Party will become an annual event and fundraiser that supports the mission of the group, which includes raising money for local charities.
“We have consistently donated $2,000 a year to charities downtown for the past few years,” Plaza said.
The Period Party is an addition to the main event V-Warriors holds each year, The Vagina Monologues. Thursday’s Period Party was a fundraiser for the Clare House, which is a women’s shelter located in downtown Lancaster.
Clare House will also be the beneficiary of the proceeds from The Vagina Monologues and V-Warriors are attempting to exceed last year’s donation total.
“[The Clare House provides] lodging for women and children in transition who may be experiencing homelessness, unemployment, or domestic violence,” Plaza said. “They also run job training programs, child care programs, counseling, and other initiatives to help these women and their families get back on their feet.”
In order to attend Period Party, attendents either paid a one dollar entrance fee or donated an essential women’s health item, such as diapers, feminine hygiene products, or soap.
The Party included performances throughout the night as well as food, games, and raffles. Merchandise like t-shirts, stickers, and cupcakes were sold along with red fruit punch, free of charge. The three games were Pin the Ovary on the Uterus, Period Bingo, and Menstrual Trivia, all of which gave raffle tickets to winners.
People could also share their own or other’s embarrassing, strange, or silly period stories in order to win a raffle prize. The prizes included gift cards, t-shirts, or tickets to The Vagina Monologues, which will be performed on February 18 to 20 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Green Room Theatre.
There were multiple performances throughout the night from different on-campus groups and individuals, both male and female. Some performances were serious and others were more comical and they all centered around similar themes of menstruation, relationships, and women’s issues relevant both close to home and around the world.
LIFT kicked off the night with several monologues and poems. Then The Rumspringas, F&M’s improvisational comedy troupe, followed with a bit of comedy. A group of students from IMPACT performed as well, followed by several individual volunteer performances. Sweet Ophelia ended the night, singing “Riptide” and “Harder to Breathe.”
“The Period Party was a great event that highlighted issues women face especially as it pertains to their menstrual cycles,” said Sarah Frazer ’19, who attended the event.
“I really enjoyed the LIFT performances and thought the poems and the whole event were very well done. And I like that it was for such a great cause.”
Plaza hopes the Period Party will educated and encourage conversations around campus.
“By starting a dialogue on taboo subjects like sexual education, menstruation, rape culture, and domestic violence, we can start to build a community that is safer for and more supportive of those who may experience gendered discrimination, sexual violence or harassment, and misinformation surrounding healthy sexual relationships,” Plaza said.
She believes that although F&M has implemented many important support resources and safety measures, it remains essential for everyone to learn about ways to prevent gender-based violence. The Period Party and The Vagina Monologues can help achieve this goal and eliminate negativity surrounding women and their bodies.
First-year Christa Rodriguez is a Layout Assistamt. Her email is email@example.com.