March 14, 2023

Student Group Spotlight: Join the MSM Womxn’s Organization for a Tea Party on March 19th!

MSM Womxn’s Organization will hold a Tea Party on Sunday, March 19 at 2:30 PM in Rahm Hall for Women’s Month! The event will include a discussion about the challenges of being womxn in music and what can be done to meet those challenges.

Meet the student leaders of MSM Womxn’s Organization: Kayla Thomas (BM ’25), Vanessa Yearsley (MM ’24), Karina Vartanian (BM ’25), Saviah Miller (BM ’25), and Vanessa Zou (BM ’25).

Kayla, Karina, and Vanessa Y. tell us about the MSM Womxn’s Organization and why it is important.

  • Kayla Thomas (BM '25 Classical Voice)

    MSM Womxn’s Organization Chair of Advocacy

  • Vanessa Yearsley (MM '24 Classical Voice)

    MSM Womxn’s Organization Chair of Finance

  • Karina Vartanian (BM '25 Classical Voice)

    MSM Womxn’s Organization Chair of Communications

  • Saviah Miller (BM '25 Classical Voice)

    MSM Womxn’s Organization Chair of Events

  • Vanessa Zou (BM '25 Classical Piano)

    MSM Womxn’s Organization Chair of Outreach & Volunteer Work

Tell us about MSM Womxn’s Organization. What is the purpose of the group?

Kayla: MSM Womxn’s Organization is a student-run organization designed to help nourish the social climate here at MSM. We have a goal of advocacy and outreach to make an impact on MSM and its surrounding communities. Our goal is to provide a safe space for those who may not have that in other places, and to raise awareness through charity and events to issues that affect all of us everyday.

What has been your most memorable moment with the group so far? Any favorite events?

Vanessa Y: I loved the breast cancer awareness event. Sitting in the student union and talking to whomever came by and introduced themselves. My mother was a breast cancer survivor so it meant a lot to me.

Karina: My most memorable moment was when all of the MSM Womxn’s Organization Chairs held a Secret Santa exchange. It was an amazing send-off during finals week and it gave us a chance to get closer to one another. My favorite event was the Pink Out for breast cancer awareness. It allowed us to meet and connect with the student body all while supporting a good cause.

“We are here to represent anybody at MSM who is a part of the womxn’s community.”

MSM Womxn's Organization Chair of Communications

How do you personally connect to MSM Womxn? Why is it important to you?

Kayla: I have always felt a personal connection to feminism. I think that as a womxn in modern society, there is nothing more powerful than standing together. We as womxn, and specifically womxn in music have to face challenges every day that other people do not. Most of the time when I see a musical performance put on in the city, unless the work is gender-specific, the stage is ruled by men. While I adore my male colleagues, I think it is important for us to work as a group to try and fight these norms, and to provide a safe and accepting community that each of us can use a backbone.

Secondly, the statistics in sexual abuse and rape, particularly regarding womxn at the collegiate level, are horrifying. The only way to try and solve this issue is to, once again, gain a space within the community such as MSM Womxn’s Organization to provide support and education to those in and around us. That is why this group really means a lot to me. Sometimes a group of strong womxn working together like this can truly save lives and careers.

MSM Womxn's Organization members at their Pink Out for breast cancer awareness month

What is important for the MSM Community to know about MSM Womxn’s Organization?

Vanessa Y: MSM Womxn’s Organization is inclusive of any female-identifying person and is open to any way we can be more inclusive!

Karina: The MSM Community should know that they can always reach out to us with any questions or comments about our organization. I love it when people send in suggestions and questions about what we do. We are here to support and empower the MSM community, and we love hearing what you have to say! The easiest way to reach out to us is through our Instagram @msmwomxn

What legacy would you like to leave for future members of the group?

Kayla: I think all of us agree in saying our main goal is to be able to eventually pass this group on to another wonderful group of womxn who will nourish this organization, even more than we have. We want to create an ongoing legacy of support and charity through the MSM Womxn’s Organization.

“Sometimes a group of strong womxn working together like this can truly save lives and careers.”

MSM Womxn's Organization Chair of Advocacy

What would you like to tell students interested in joining the MSM Womxn’s Organization?

Vanessa Y: We would love more members to bring ideas not only for how we can represent female-identifying members here on campus but also for how we can branch out into our neighboring Manhattan community and be of service and support. Being involved in womxn’s issues is something we all stand for.

Karina: I’d like to tell the students who are interested in joining MSM Womxn’s Organization to just join! We are here to represent anybody at MSM who is a part of the Womxn community. You can always reach out to me or my fabulous Chairs (Saviah, Kayla, Vanessa Z, and Vanessa Y). There are lots of events in the works and we would love to see you there!

MSM Womxn’s Organization will host their tea party discussion this Sunday, March 19!

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