This academic year, NSU has yet another new club on campus. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a national organization that promotes women in the workplace and incorporates universities and communities to help educate both men and women alike about the current wage gap. Aberdeen as well as other South Dakota communities, such as Madison, Pierre, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls, has an AAUW branch. However, Northern State University is the only university in the SDBOR system to have an AAUW club. The AAUW is not an organization for just females, explained Molly Royals, NSU’s president of AAUW. The organization serves to educate men and women on how to negotiate for the salary that they deserve, ask for a raise, and handle personal finances in the workplace.
The AAUW recently hosted the Champs’ Life Skills session on salary negotiation that Northern State athletes had the option to attend and learn about. Royals really drove home the common fallacy that AAUW is ultra-feminist by saying that, “We aren’t ‘burn the patriarchy’ kind of people. We aren’t burning bras. We just think everyone should be treated fairly.” Royals explained that AAUW was birthed at Northern State University when Dr. Debra Wenzel had the idea to bring the club and concept to campus. She then asked Dr. Audrey Miller if she would be open to leading the NSU club, and when Dr. Miller agreed, she recruited Royals to help her get students interested in joining. Now, after much hard work and recruitment, Royals is the president. Jacque Bratcher is the treasurer and Amanda McIlravy serves as the secretary. Although the group is mostly women, a few men are members. Royals encourages people of both genders to check out what this club is all about. AAUW is planning on hosting another wage workshop sometime this semester as well as attend Aberdeen branch events and meetings. To learn more about the club or to inquire about joining, email Molly Royals at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Miller at Audrey.email@example.com.