By Jaime Alcaparras

The Red Barn was more of a White Barn in celebration of Women’s Month last Tuesday night.

University of Louisville students and staff gathered to talk about gender equality and the women they appreciate over a spaghetti dinner at the “Women’s Appreciation Day” event organized by the Student Activities Board. Attendees were encouraged to wear white clothing to the event, which also featured two international dance performances.

The PEACC and Women’s centers at U of L also helped promote equal treatment of women in employment, education and housing at the event.

Emcee Michael Anthony, coordinator for campus student leadership and a student working toward a Ph.D. in education administration, opened the event by showing his appreciation for his new fiancée sitting in the audience.

When asked what female campus figure inspired him, Anthony said his former professor Amy Hirschy would always go out her way for students. “She knows her theory, she’s a practitioner, and she’s an excellent teacher. She’s always available,” Anthony said.

Special guest and U of L alumna Dawn Gee of WAVE-3 TV joined the celebration as the keynote speaker. Gee, now a top anchor at the local news station holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and communication from U of L.

Gee spoke about life management and dream development of women today. She also talked about overcoming gender discrimination with a historical overview of women’s month. It wasn’t until 1981 that women were given a week of recognition. “Women’s Month” came into existence six years later.

“My mom was a huge inspiration to me,” Gee said. While her father provided her comfort, Gee said it was her mother who pushed her to work harder.

Gee said she hopes to return to U of L to teach communication courses once she retires from the television industry.

Students also talked about the women at U of L who have made a difference in their lives. Sophomore Rachel Schwarz, a psychology major, said her boss and head of the First Year Guide program, Virginia Olin, has been a great mentor. “[Virginia] wants you to make the best of all you have and all opportunities that are there for you,” Schwarz said. Olin is a graduate student and the graduate assistant who coordinates the FYG program in the department of Housing and Residence Life.

Freshman Elisabeth Dawkins, a justice administration and psychology major, said Association of Black Students President Shauntrice Martin, a senior Pan African Studies major, has been a very influential and positive role model for her.

Senior Stephanie Herzog, a fine arts major, said Sharon LaRue, the director of PEACC, has impacted her. “She works really hard and she makes everyone around her feel special.”

For pictures of the event, turn to the Features Section (page A5).