Hundreds of people gathered at Indiana State University Tuesday night for a Women’s Equality Day March. Attendees included Representative Barbara Gambill, Mayor Duke Bennett, state house candidate Jim Mann and WAWV’s Robyn King.
Organizers intended the event to begin at 5:30, but severe thunderstorms delayed the start. Participants, some dressed in costumes, gathered underneath the trees of ISU's R parking lot to wait out the rain. After the storm passed, Girl Scout Brownie Troop 253 performed a flag ceremony, and a university student read the text of the 19th Amendment.
People milled around the trees and the blue tram as the sun began to shine. Some of them were dressed as characters from the women's suffrage movement. Anyone who listened to all of the stories received a free t-shirt presented by members of the Indiana State University Golf Team.
Mayor Bennett, who spoke during the opening ceremony, called the right to vote one of America’s most underutilized rights. Representative Gambill followed up on the mayor's point. She urged all citizens to view the right to vote as a privilege and a responsibility. After Troop 253 retired the colors, men and women walked the short route to the Dede Hall amphitheater.
Four speakers addressed the crowd. The guests included Barbara Gambill, state representative, Dottie King, president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Alpha Patel, Vigo County School Board member, and Robyn King, the WAWV morning meteorologist. Robyn and Dottie King urged younger women to continue their educations. Alpha Patel talked about her school board campaign.
“You have the right to vote. Make it your responsibility.” Patel advised participants.
This year marked the 3rd year anniversary of the event. Volunteers for the Vigo County League of Women Voters handed out yellow roses to anyone who exercised their right to vote. Many people claiming the roses were women, but one brave man claimed his reward.