Despite poor weather, students, faculty and community members marched for
equality on April 12. With signs reading “Will Work for Equality,” approximately 50 protestors marched to the Greensburg Courthouse to raise awareness about the inequality in salaries between men and women in Westmoreland County.
Seton Hill University’s (SHU) Feminist Collective Club planned the Equal Pay Day Rally with funding from the Women and Girl’s Foundation. The rally was a day-long event featuring a march from SHU to the courthouse, a rally with speakers and events at the courthouse and a tea party with a panel discussion featuring SHU professors.
“Women earn about 75 cents per dollar that men make in Westmoreland County,” said senior Stephanie Wytovich, a senior and Feminist Collective vice president. “ The event was primarily about raising awareness about inequality in modern day society and urging people to never accept less than what they deserve.”
The rally featured speakers on the topics of equality, domestic abuse and poverty. There were also activities and giveaways. The Feminist Collective gave out bookmarks, pins and t-shirts featuring their logo and statistics on pay inequality.
“It was really shocking to hear the facts and it made me want to get out there and help out more in any way that I can,” said Wytovich.
“The Feminist Collective continues to provide educational programs that will raise awareness on gender issues and pay in-equity is huge,” said Maureen Vissat, associate professor of art and co-advisor of the Feminist Collective.
Every level of the SHU community was involved in Equal Pay Day. “I participated in the rally and the panel because I support the cause. I want to live in a world where men and women are compensated equally for equal work,” said Laura Patterson, associate professor of English and director of undergraduate writing programs, who served as a panel member. “I was impressed with the students’ energy and enthusiasm for the event. Even though it was a cold and rainy day, students were making their voices heard and learning from the invited speakers at the rally.”
“We certainly met our opposition some step of the way, but what matters is the cause, and I’m glad it got to happen,” said Wytovitch.
The Feminist Collective actively works toward women’s equality throughout the year at SHU. Under the leadership of president Chelsea Oliver, a senior and columnist for The Setonian, and faculty advisors Vissat and Susan Eichenberger, they have raised money for the Blackburn Center through various fundraisers, most notably; with an underwear sale last fall with the message “I’m more than my body.”
They also sponsored the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event alongside the Blackburn Center in April to promote knowledge and prevention of domestic violence.
“I helped Chelsea Oliver get the club off of the ground on campus by promoting events and helping work various events/projects because I think equality, of all shapes and forms, is something worth fighting for,” said Wytovich. “I want to be a part of the change for the better.”