Maddy Friedman ‘25
The I2I club established itself at St. Andrew’s last year with its exciting (and greatly appreciated) after-finals-week-fuel events, the WE conference, women’s history month, and much more. Made up of six amazing student leaders, this club cultivates a community aimed at educating and empowering anyone who identifies as a woman. The I2I club tackles important issues concerning women’s rights, such as the Roe v. Wade discussion and the underrepresentation of female sports in the media, to name a few. The I2I club focuses on bringing together a community of girls who can support each other to create an inclusive feminist space. Many students may remember when the club was first getting up and running back in 2021; however, I2I is only just getting started.
I2I has big plans for the girls of the St. Andrew’s community, and it really begins with understanding why a club devoted to empowering women is so needed. When asked about what the club is trying to promote, Senior Rosa Casey-Teeley states that “a real big thing we are trying to enforce is empowerment as girls… sisterhood as a community.” Ms. Koons, the club’s faculty sponsor, adds that I2I is “meant to be a safe space, an empowering space, and an affirming space.” The sisterhood that Rosa mentions is a crucial aspect of this club’s mission. I2I strives not only to educate and empower the girls in their community, but to create a bond between members that makes them feel supported and connected. Rosa adds that having a club solely made up of women might “seem so small, but really knowing that there are women who are supporting you is really important.” While both Rosa and Ms. Koons emphasize the importance of a strong sisterhood within one’s community, I2I’s mission is not limited to the bonds created within the club. I2I additionally focuses on gender equity, women’s rights, and equally representing women’s sports at St. Andrew’s. While being a newer addition to the St. Andrew’s community this year, athletic director Ms. Saunders has already made big strides toward equality on the playing field.
For many young women, the most difficult part of playing sports at a competitive level is the underrepresentation that women experience. This issue is one of the main concerns that Ms. Saunders has addressed, while nonetheless continuing to equally represent male sports. During an I2I meeting, Ms. Saunders spoke up about the female students’ concerns, saying, “we are cultivating this community where the girls teams feel as incorporated as the boys teams do in the athletic department.” With help from the women and girls of the St. Andrew’s community, Ms. Sanders has plenty of amazing ideas to draw more attention to the girl’s athletics. Wearing pink during the games for breast cancer awareness has been heavily emphasized, along with creating spaces for girls athletics that are just as exciting as the Lion’s Den is during basketball season. Ms. Saunders’ main goal is to uplift all sports to the same level. While change takes time to implement, she affirms that “you’re being spoken for.”
New changes to the athletic department are not the only thing I2I is currently working on. Looking into the future, the club plans to host many events centered around talking about women’s rights in school, politics, and day-to-day life. One event the club plans to host this year is to watch the Barbie movie and talk about how it portrays reality, diving deep into whether or not it accurately expresses challenges women face. The club will continue to organize the WE conference to provide a day devoted to women’s empowerment, and they will spend time analyzing the ratio of women to men in stem-oriented classes at St. Andrew’s.
I2I’s main goal of creating an affirming and empowering space for feminism is not limited to one aspect of life. This club takes on any challenge that comes their way. As Senior Rosa Casey-Teeley said, “it takes a village…it takes a lot of support to run these things and provide support for other people”, a mission that I2I is determined to fulfill. There is definitely more in store for the new and growing club, so stay tuned for the exciting events that I2I will organize for the coming months!
Photograph via the Instagram of i2i