The WILL* student leadership organization provides members with leadership opportunities and a significant voice in the program. The student organization gives students a place to do something about the problems they learn about in the classroom. WILL* students run meetings, discuss and take action on pressing issues, bring speakers to campus, and host awareness campaigns. They take action on campus, in the city of Richmond, and beyond.
In response to weak state laws that often fail to protect women when they most need it, WILL* students petitioned the General Assembly, the state’s legislative body, to strengthen Virginia’s stalking laws in 2007. Students lobbied legislators and citizens on behalf of the bill, attended hearings, and testified before subcommittees about the bill’s necessity. They worked on behalf of the bill during their four years at the University, and the bill finally passed in the spring of 2013.
Raising Awareness about Domestic Violence
WILL* students work with other groups both on and off campus to highlight the prevalence of domestic violence in our society. WILL* annually hosts the Clothesline Project on campus as a creative way to bring attention to this issue. WILL* students help support the annual Take Back the Night event, in which women claim space as survivors of sexual assault at a nighttime vigil. WILL* students also volunteer at local women’s shelters.
Mentoring in Local Schools
WILL* students regularly connect with students in Richmond public schools through a variety of mentoring programs, including Girl Talk, a mentoring program for girls at Henderson Middle School, and Higher Achievement, an after-school and summer academic program for middle school students in low-income communities.