The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Women strive to ‘have it all’

Every woman wants to know how she can have it all, and now many women can.

This year, the SMU Women’s Symposium will teach women about how they can be successful in the workplace and still be able to raise a family. The idea of women “Having it All” is becoming a reality for some women, and the symposium is the place to learn how to make it happen.

On Thursday, SMU, along with the Women’s Center, will present the 41st Annual Women’s Symposium. The event will be held in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The symposium is free to students and faculty, but members of the community are also welcome to attend.

The focus of the event is to teach different types of women about how they can achieve balanced lives.

“A lot of students tell us how they’re struggling with balancing different aspects of their lives, so we feel that this would really benefit them,” Courtney Aberle, coordinator of the women’s programs, said.

Aberle also said at least 200 to 400 students, faculty and other members of the community attend the symposium every year.

She said one goal of the symposium is to cover topics that pertain to a multicultural and a multigenerational audience. Even though the themes change every year, the topics are meant to reach all women. She said it remains a place where women can come and hear a speaker discuss issues that pertain to women.

Ann Crittenden, author of “The Price of Motherhood,” will give the key speech of the symposium at 12:30 p.m. She will discuss the importance of being a mother and how to balance a career and a family. Crittenden is a Dallas native who received her bachelor’s degree from SMU.

The symposium also has three interest sessions for women who want to learn more about specific issues related to families and careers and a plenary session that examines feminism and motherhood.

The Women’s Symposium was created by Emmie Baine, who was the dean of women in 1966. Aberle said the symposium was where concerned women went because there wasn’t anything like it at the time.

Over the years, notable women, including anthropologist Margaret Mead and author Maya Angelou, have spoken at the symposium.

Women are the focus of the symposium, but men are welcome to attend and give lectures. Men such as Richard Reeves, an author and syndicated columnist, have spoken at the Women’s Symposium.

Rebecca Bergstresser, the coordinator of the Women’s Symposium, said the goal is to have everyone at the symposium “come away with a broadened understanding of the issues they face living their lives.”

Bergstresser wants the guests to learn there are resources on campus and in the local community that are available to them. She also said networking is a part of the symposium. The community resource fair is where female students and other women can look into possible internships or employment opportunities.

Debra McKnight, a graduate student working at the Women’s Center, said she wants people to know the symposium is “a place for people to dialogue, and that it’s not a place that’s meant to be threatening or hostile.”

She wants women who are planning to come to the Women’s Symposium to know they have a voice, and this place is where they can use that voice.

McKnight said the symposium “celebrates what’s been done, and it looks to the future.”


More to Discover