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USC Female Empowerment Group Eliminates “Women” From Title To Be Less “Alienating” & More Inclusive

January 13, 2017

Members of the University of Southern California Women’s Student Assembly voted unanimously on Tuesday to remove the word “women” from its name to be more inclusive of other gender identities.

They voted to change their name to the Student Assemble for Gender Empowerment (SAGE).

“Our mission statement recognizes that we do not just cater to female-identified students, but also cater to students of all gender identities,” SAGE assistant director Maddie Hengst told the Daily Trojan. “We also don’t want to alienate any of our constituency by focusing exclusively on women.”

As a result of the change, the female empowerment group has transformed into a group that caters to men as well as students that identify as other genders.

According to the group’s website, “the mission of the Women’s Student Assembly is to address the emerging concerns of USC students oppressed under the patriarchy by working to strengthen the network of feminist and ally identifying students, faculty, staff, and organizations.”

“I hope that in the future, women wouldn’t feel alienated by our organization or feel inadequately represented by our organization,” Hengst said. “I think right now the organization wasn’t appropriately representing our mission statement, so this name change isn’t really changing the purpose of our organization at all — it’s just better reflecting what our mission statement has been and the work we’ve been doing for the past few years.”