Oakland partners with AAUW

By Sarah Hunton

The Rochester branch of the American Associate of University Women (AAUW) and Oakland University have created a new partnership that will benefit students at OU.

With the partnership, Oakland is now one of over 500 AAUW college and university partners.

The AAUW works to advance women of all ages by abolishing any barriers between them and education.

“We think this is a great opportunity for students of Oakland University to take advantage of some of the opportunities that the AAUW offers,” Ruth Johnson, the College/University Liaison of the Rochester branch, said.

Because of this new partnership, OU undergrad students may become student affiliates of the AAUW for free.

For up to two years following their graduation, former college students are eligible for a free membership through the “Give-A-Grad-Gift” program.

Those involved with the organization have access to programs that help advance women in education. The Rochester branch of the AAUW offers fellowships and grants to grad students, leadership, and political training programs for women.

The organization also offers grants for campus action projects.  This monetary support is provided to organizations on college campuses that design and implement programs that take activist action.

“Students can also become members of the National Student Advisory Council,” Johnson said of the ways for individuals to get involved.   “They can advise the AAUW on what student needs on campus are and help fight gender discrimination in higher education and the work place.  Those students also get to attend the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders for free.”

In addition to these educational and networking gains, members of the AAUW can also receive discounts on Princeton Review classes, travel, insurance and books.

Jennifer Gole, Women and Gender Studies undergrad and president of Students Advocating for Gender Awareness believes that this partnership provides opportunity for all genders.

“I think that all genders benefit from this,” Gole said.  “While I am not aware of the particulars regarding the AAUW’s scholarship opportunities etc., feminist ethics do benefit all genders.”

Grace Wojcik, the director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at OU, has had much involvement with the creation this partnership and also sees benefits to the alliance.

“I think (this partnership) is important because this is the perfect tool for women to get involved with other women, or men who are passionate about gender equality to get involved,” Wojcik said.  “(The AAUW) does a lot of volunteer and community service in the community of Rochester and they are just a really passionate group of women who are trying to better things for the next generation.”

Wojcik is also interested in bringing the AAUW’s “Smart Start” program to OU.  Through the program, workshops teach useful job skills.

To become an undergraduate student affiliate, visit