By Suki Rowden, Staff Writer
At Saint Vincent College, International Women’s Week was celebrated last week from March 13-17. With multiple events designed to empower and celebrate the women in the SVC community, the second annual Lighting Our Way Forward event was the most heartwarming.
Lighting Our Way Forward endeavored to be one of the many traditions that combat the isolation that COVID-19 brought upon the SVC community. The event took place in the St. Vincent Basilica Crypt on March 16, complete with an all-female chorus under the direction of senior music major Kate Kell, 25 senior students, and 20 freshman students. The seniors and freshmen lined the crypt, and the seniors lit the candles of the freshmen. The event was followed by refreshments where the participants had a chance to meet and mingle.
The hope for the future of the event is to continue evolving, especially the budget, and to eventually be able to give the senior and freshman girls mementos of their time at Saint Vincent. The ideal gift would be a lantern, which will remind them to always keep their light burning.
Dr. Doreen Blandino is the chairperson of the Department of Modern & Classical Language and also the most senior female faculty member at Saint Vincent College. She helped organize the event.
“We are looking for opportunities to connect,” Dr. Blandino said. “Traditions and rituals are important to remind us who has come before us .....we each need to play a role in keeping the flame burning from generation to generation.”
With Dr. Blandino was Bridgit DiVittis, Campus Ministry’s assistant director. Both Dr. Blandino and Bridgit DiVittis organized Lighting Our Way Forward to empower the female student population and to celebrate their achievements along with all of their achievements to come.
This event was meant to create connections and bonding opportunities between all of the women on campus, but especially with the freshman students who are still trying to build their support systems away from home. Women’s Week was a special appreciation of all of our women on campus, which will hopefully attract more female students as the number of female students enrolling at SVC has been decreasing.
“When I started here there were probably less than eight female faculty members,” Dr Blandino said. “However, with more inclusive events like this and Wimmer Welcome, [we hope to] help foster togetherness at Saint Vincent and encourage a sense of community and support.”