Elect Her - Campus Women coming to Purdue; program seeks to change face of politics

January 16, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Elect Her – Campus Women Win, the only program that trains college women to run for student government and future office, will come to Purdue University for the first time on Feb. 22.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start recently announced the program's 2014 expansion to 50 colleges and universities, including 17 new sites. In 2013, 88 percent of Elect Her participants in colleges and universities across the country won their bids for student government president.

Purdue's Elect Her event will be from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Memorial Union. Students interested in attending should apply online at http://www.purdue.edu/electher.

"We are extremely excited and honored to have been selected as one of the Elect Her sites for 2014," said Melissa Gruver, assistant dean of students for civic engagement and leadership development. "We are certain that this program will have a positive impact on our participants, the university and beyond."

While 20 women now serve in the U.S. Senate - an all-time high - women are still underrepresented at all levels of government. Among U.S.News & World Report's top 50 colleges, men account for more than two-thirds of student government presidents even though nearly 60 percent of U.S. college students are women.

"We want women to see themselves as political leaders on campus, because that makes them more likely to continue on in public office after college," said Kate Farrar, director of AAUW Campus Leadership Programs. "Our nation needs women leaders because they help change the conversation, whether it's in student government, City Hall or Congress. The problems facing our country are tremendous, and we can't just be satisfied with the status quo. Having a diversity of perspectives is crucial to addressing our biggest challenges." 

Source: Brianne Rogers, coordinator of leadership development for Student Activities and Organizations, 765-496-2450, briannerogers@purdue.edu

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