Students are empowering each other through an organization called Supporting Women in Political Science, or SWIPS, in an effort to get more women involved in the field.
Brianah Rodriguez, political science junior, and Ana De Loza, political science senior, created SWIPS after they realized many women majoring in political science enter the education sector instead of pursuing law and politics. The organization coordinates and hosts debates on campus and is working to create workshops.
“If you look at the department itself, there are very few female professors and that was one thing Ana and I wanted to bring awareness to. Why are there not more women political scientists in this field?” Rodriguez said. “We were just curious as to why more women weren’t going out into politics or law.”
Rodriguez and De Loza said SWIPS allow them to facilitate constructive dialogue and give women support in a male-dominated field.
“Everybody knows that politics and the field of political science is a man’s world, and of course there are some women that get there but it requires a lot of work,” De Loza said. “To learn from women who have already cut down the path to all of these different careers and learn what they did and how they got to where they are.”
SWIPS has garnered support from women from other majors and backgrounds as well.
Victoria Vasquez, electronic media junior and social media chair of SWIPS, joined the club to support other women in their endeavors and to have an outlet for her through the weekly meetings in which they sit and talk about opportunities and ways to participate in the political sphere as well as simply providing support to one another.
“The beauty of it is that not everyone agrees so we are able to have really significant discussions and be able to go somewhere with it,” Vasquez said. “We talk about how to get more women in political science (regardless of parties or beliefs).”
SWIPS is geared towards promoting women majoring in political science, but Vasquez said the organization is open to students of any major or gender.
The primary goal of the organization is to bring women in politics to speak to members and create a support system. Rodriguez said some members have even applied and been accepted to law schools since joining SWIPS.
SWIPS and College Democrats hosted Justice Melissa Goodwin to speak to its members as well as a kickball benefit for SCOPE March 2, which was on the field across from Bobcat Stadium. More information on future SWIPS events can be found on the organizations Twitter @SWIPS_TXST.