By Christian McCarville
It is always inspiring to see students come together in support of a common cause. Planned Parenthood (PP): Generation Action, is an organization on campus that is a perfect example of unity, as it is led by women determined to make a positive change in their communities.
“The goals of this organization at Rider are to most importantly give students a place where they feel free to be themselves and talk about a variety of social issues that bother them, striving to enact positive change in the world around us,” said President of PP: Generation Action Riley Rue. “Another goal is to bring to light issues regarding sexual health and freedom, reproductive healthcare rights and a myriad of other social justice issues.”
The organization was originally started by Lindsay Alvarado in 2004 under the name VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood. The organization operated under the name until 2018.
“Last fall, I reached out to PP and they immediately got us registered under the organization’s new name: Generation Action. Since then, we have traveled to [Washington D.C.] twice and have built up a large following on campus through constantly tabling,’’ said Rue.
The organization contains board members Rue, Vice President Joyce Monserrate, Treasurer Sammi Triolo and Secretary Brenna Damminger.
On Oct. 24, PP hosted a sex toy bingo event at 8 p.m. in the Science and Technology Center.
“Sex Toy Bingo was our first big event on campus and the turnout was much bigger than we ever expected,” said Rue. “It was hectic at first since there were more people than we had supplies, but we made everything work in the end and had an incredible night giving away free sex toys and PP swag.”
“Many people have a misconception on what exactly PP is [and] does. PP provides STD testing and treatment, mammograms, infertility treatment and so much more. Many think they only provide abortions, but that is a common fallacy. Planned Parenthood is super important and it is necessary to become educated on what they provide,” said sophomore sociology major Gina Ceccarelli.
While this was an entertaining event and many free prizes were given out, the main purpose of this event was to educate those who attended.
“This event was created with the intention of educating Rider’s community about a variety of topics circulating around sexual health and wellness. Each term on the bingo card was projected alongside its definition to introduce students to new and old information regarding sexual health education,” said Rue.
Attendees were also able to complete a Title X postcard to be sent to legislators in order to combat the recent “gag rule” which would impact funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Recently, the Trump administration passed a ‘gag rule’ that bars healthcare providers from recieiving federal funding if they even so much as mention abortion to their patients. This is a direct attack against PP and its patients, who are mostly low-income families who rely on PP for necessary healthcare such as cancer screenings and basic physical check-ups,” said Rue.
“The postcards that were completed will be sent out to legislators, urging them to speak out against the gag rule.”
The event was influential to all who attended, informing students about a wide variety of topics. It is evident that this event was a great success and the goals of Planned Parenthood: Generation Action were met. Other informative and entertaining events will be held by PP are sure to be seen in the near future.
Published in the 10/30/19 issue of The Rider News.