LunaFest returns to Moscow

Matt Maw

It may be difficult for most people to compose a “Top 10 List” of female filmmakers, but the University of Idaho Women’s Center could help to add a few entries. The Center will host LunaFest tonight, March 11, a traveling film festival that spotlights women’s films and issues. This season boasts nine independent short films, all made by women, featuring elements of animation, documentary and more traditional narrative methods. The movies engage a range of topics, from blind dating, to basketball for the elderly, to economic hardship in Greece.

Lysa Salsbury, the Center’s director, said the films are relatable and don’t hold back on reality.

“They’re very human, very much about those aspects of the human experience not often talked about,” Salsbury said. “They’re very moving, raw and real stories.”

LunaFest was started in 2000 by the Luna company—the folks behind the Luna women’s nutritional bars. More than 900 national and international films have been submitted to the festival each year, and each selected filmmaker is awarded $1,000. LunaFest has raised more than $650,000 for its primary recipient, the Breast Cancer Fund, and more than $1 million for local groups in the areas it’s been shown. More than a spark for conversation, Salsbury said LunaFest is a valuable effort to actively support and display women’s work.

Salsbury said the goals of the festival are threefold: to advance female work in a film industry full of men; to engage women’s issues across cultures; and to provide a platform to celebrate independent filmmakers and their work in front of an appreciative audience. Moviegoers are apt to clap after viewing each film.

“It’s such an enthusiastic and supportive environment,” she said.

Salsbury said everyone can relate to society’s demands on individual appearance, ability and other factors. The international scope of the festival is no barrier to viewers.

“(The movies) really transcend cultural divides,” she said. “Even though issues are presented as specific to culture, the emotional issues resonate with women everywhere.”

With a reception beforehand catered by Maialina Pizzeria Napoletana and Camas Prairie Winery, and a raffle featuring prizes from local businesses, LunaFest looks to be a beautiful evening. It might even make your “Top 10.”


The Vagina Monologues returns to the University of Idaho

Aaron W. California

History of V-Day

What is V-Day, why support it, and how did it get started? According to, “one in six American women [are] the victim of an attempted or completed rape”. Eve Ensler is just one of the millions of women around the world who are the victim of rape, incest, or violence. In 1994, Ensler performed the Vagina Monologues in New York City for the first time The Vagina Monologues is a play originally written and performed by Ensler that recounts her experience, as well as those of other women, with rape and violence against women. Much to Ensler’s surprise, the Vagina Monologues has grown into part of a worldwide non-profit organization that seeks to raise funds for local organizations working to stop violence against women. The original play Ensler performed has been translated into many different languages and is performed by women in communities around the world. This year, the Vagina Monologues and V-Day will be coming to the University of Idaho. Five events, with your involvement and attendance, will be held on the U of I campus or in the city of Moscow to help raise awareness for violence against women.

V-Men Work Shop: February 04, 2014

Women are not the only ones who can make a valuable contribution to stopping the violence against women. Although the majority of those who are raped, or who experience other forms of sexual assault, are women, 3% of those who experienced attempted or total rape in the U.S. in 2013 were men. The purpose of the V-Men Workshops is to inspire men to become active in the V-Day movement to end violence against women and men. In this active workshop, it is anticipated that deep and meaningful conversations will inspire men to take an active role in ending violence against women, as well as men.

The Vagina Monologues: February 6th-8th

The culminating event of the V-Day movement will be the live production of The Vagina Monologues right here in Moscow, Idaho. From February 6th to the 8th, the University of Idaho Women’s Center will be hosting a production of The Vagina Monologues at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center at 7:00pm. The performance is based on Eve Ensler’s production of The Vagina Monologues. Performances will include live dramatic retellings of stories that address issues facing women today, including rape, incest, and female sexuality. The proceeds generated from the event

will go towards ending violence against women in the local community. Tickets can be purchased for $12 at the University of Idaho Women’s Center for $12 or at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center for $18.

The Vagina Monologues Talk-Back: February 12, 2014

We all hope and anticipate you will fall in love with and be inspired by The Vagina Monologues. After the amazing performance of The Vagina Monologues, viewers will get the unique opportunity to talk one-on-one with members of the cast, the director, and other crew members of the play. The public will be given the opportunity to voice their opinions on the production, constructive criticism is also welcomed. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. on February 12th in the Whitewater room in the Idaho Commons.

Free screening of “What I Want My Words To Do To You”: February 19th

Eve Ensler takes audience members into the lives of women serving time behind bars for various crimes, many of which involve murder. It is unfortunate that some women see killing their abuser as the only way to stop the violence they have been experiencing. The film “What I Want My Words To Do To You” focuses on the stories of 15 women in the New York Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. These women participated in a workshop put on by Ensler to retell their crimes and give insight into how these women see their lives developing in the future. In the film audience members will watch as the inmates perform plays that represent their personal lives in prison and what they imagine the world will be like for them after they leave.

The Wonder Woman in all of us

Dawn Trottier

Over the decades, we have all had our superheroes and mentors to help in guiding our success. When Wonder Woman appeared on television back in the day, she was a woman of all traits–lady by day and superhero when needed. I could always count on her in my time of need. Wonder Woman has, in fact, inspired many generations to gather, to innovate, to inspire, and to be themselves. In the last four decades she has changed in shape and form to inspire the next generations. Her red, white and blue outfit is full of patriotism, and in this we see our country.

I was thinking the other day about what made her so powerful; was it the head gear, the bracelets, the rope or the invisible airplane? It was none of that. It was simply the idea of who she is and what she does as a woman and as a superhero. I became aware that I was labeling and placing value on what could be. I started to realize I could become my own wonder woman. I have traveled to many places, not in an invisible plane, although it would have been nice. I can think ahead and plan, so there is my telepathic power. I could even be truthful and get the true out of people, so there is my magical lasso. I can even reflect the hard bullets of life when they appear. All that I am missing is the red, white and blue–oh wait, I am a veteran. I did serve my country. If wonder woman is an idea, then the logical conclusion is: I might have some of her in myself.

Wonder Woman has inspired many women, whether at work, home or play. Many feminist look to her as going above and beyond the call of duty, and for the most part it is true. Women carry very heavy loads in many cases. At times, it takes a lot to stay true to themselves, to be brave and to manage the unthinkable. As a student and woman, I can understand the hardships and the undertakings of simply living your life. Managing life and keeping your chin up can be frighting, however, I have found that it is all worth it. Inspiration comes in many forms and those forms can take shape. Believe in yourself, and if you are having a hard time, come by the Women’s Center on Campus. The Women’s Center’s doors are always open, and we love to support you in all your endeavors. The innate abilities that we women share can lead to many possibilities, and those possibilities can lead to our fulfillment. So let’s innovate, create, and inspire. We can be our own wonder women; we just need to believe that we can. Remember, we are never alone. We can endure, for we have Wonder Woman and her way of life.


I touched a wall and the wall touched me

Dawn Trottier

wall1I touched a wall and the wall touched me. As a veteran and a student, I have had the opportunity to experience the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall. I went to remember my fallen brothers and sisters who died in the Vietnam era. To many, it’s just a wall—something we touch out of respect—but to others it’s a place to remember family, friends and the brothers and sisters who fought for our right to be Americans.

It was a once in a lifetime experience for many veterans and family members. On this day at the wall in Spokane, I met other veterans from the Vietnam era who lost several of their combat buddies. A connection built on experiences obtained in our military service. I stared at the beginning of the wall. It stands two feet tall at the first panel, and grows to eight feet tall in the middle; it is made of 24 individual panels that display a daily log of despair in a time when death was real and protests were known to take place in America. Only one name appeared on the first panel, it was the first fallen. As I went to the next panel, more names were added, and they grew as the dates progressed. One name appeared on the first, then twenty on the next panel, and in the middle—at the height of the war—there were more than 150 names per panel. As I walked along the panels, people were kneeling and praying, older veterans were talking to newer veterans, all still struggling with the question of “why?”

Panel after panel this was taking place. Upon reaching the middle I saw one rifle, one boot and the ethos dog tag called Fallen Solder Battle Cross before me. At that moment, I left a feeling I cannot explain, but I know has been felt by many veterans across our nation. As I continued down the panels, names started to ring a bell, and distant family members became apparent. I became still and thought, “I am related.” I went to the information desk and got a pencil and paper for rubbings of my family’s names. I got a total of three rubbings, but after I came home I found out I had several more relatives on the wall.wall2

Truly humbled and proud to have served, I continued to discover things, like a letter written by a man returning a harmonica after 46 years to a cousin who was killed in action in ‘67. As I reached the end one of the panels, I came across one of the guards as he was rubbing his buddy’s name, just like I had. After being lost in the names of my fellow veterans, I looked up and saw a young boy sitting alone. I waited several minutes and did not see his family approach.  I went to the boy and asked if he was ok, he looked at me and simply replied. “I’m ok, I’m just waiting for my dad to return.” At that moment and place, I noticed the parallel of the current conflict to the conflict of the wall: children waiting for mothers and fathers to return.

I went to the wall to pay homage to the fallen and to congregate with other veterans. In return the fallen touched me. Not only did family appear, but a child’s voice summed up what is happening now in the world.


Please remember those who gave all and those who are still missing. To all veterans and family members, I shall never forget and I will always remember your sacrifices.

Think ahead and be prepared, non-trads.

Dawn Trottier

There are many opportunities out there, and sometimes the balance of academia and home life is overwhelming. In your UI experience, one of the most import items is funding. The U of I has many avenues, and after doing some homework I have found that many non-traditional students worry about funding for the following semester. Finding funding is a daunting task for anyone, and it will take time. So, to help my fellow students, here is a list of resources that may help in your endeavors as students—and help ease that worry.

On Campus, we have a friendly group located in the SUB; if you haven’t been there, please stop by the Financial Aid wing and they can help you. If you have questions, just ask—they would be more than happy to help you in your search. If you need help in updating your resumé, you might want to check into Career Center, located on the 3rd Floor in the Commons; they also have resources that would be useful in your search, and they can help in finding jobs and internships directly in your field of study. Next week, a Career Fair will be happening on campus, and now would be a good time to that resumé into shape.

In the state of Idaho, we have the Department of Education located in Boise, which lists some resources for you—with a little digging and creative thinking, some funding may be found for your needs. I have found that while on the hunt, I always look for the deadlines and due dates for the grants and scholarships.

Resources are hard to find, and sometimes all that rummaging around leads in the wrong direction. One helpful site on educational scholarships is “6 things you didn’t know about” In the 101 Grants tab on the same website, located on the left side of page, you will find a list of 101 grants that are available for the non-traditional student.

Continue reading “Think ahead and be prepared, non-trads.”

A conversation about pity

Ashley Centers

‘You are capable. You’ve got this.” The man on the longboard said as he left me, after helping me cross the street. I had never seen the man before but those words, those six little words of affirmation, felt so good to hear.

Sure he had helped me, a physically disabled woman, across the street but he didn’t make me feel like I needed the help or was lesser than. He didn’t automatically make assumptions upon meeting me about my life or what I can and can’t do. To him, I was just another person trying to get where I needed to go.

‘You don’t have a helper today, huh?’ the man, probably in his fifties, said to me in the middle of the sidewalk, heading downtown.

‘Nope, my friends are all busy with their own lives. I’m all by myself today.” I said. Trying to explain that I didn’t have a ‘helper(s)’ because I didn’t need one, but do have a bunch of really lovely friends, would be too much work. He wouldn’t listen anyway. They never do.

I’m slow, really slow some days, but I’m also capable. I know my limits and won’t put myself at risk or in danger because I have a lot of living left to do. I will push my limits though, especially when it scares me. That’s probably when I need it most. Continue reading “A conversation about pity”

How to find balance in anything we do

Dawn Trottier

A successful life is not about what other people think or their reactions. It is about you and how strong foundations can grow into a stronger you. Balance and acceptance can be the most difficult to achieve, especially as a non-traditional student. The correct balance can be difficult at times to even see, let alone talk about. As a nontraditional student, I have found that pulling a full load academically and balancing the home life is one of the most difficult things to overcome—I know how difficult it can be to find that balance that we all seek as individuals. Time and time again I see only Band-Aids placed where true structure should be built. I see good programs fall apart because due to lack of support. I see many programs merge into one in order to reach the greater population, which is good, but what about the outliers?

Over the years in academia, balance can make or break a soul. In my experience, it’s a challenge to balance the world of academia. I have found that acceptance and planning will help in the efforts to succeed in this crazy world of wonder. Dealing with the balance of studies and home life has always been a challenge for me. So here is a list of things I have created to be successful on and off Campus:

1) Find a safe place on or off campus to study and to be yourself.

2) Create a pro/con list of things you need to do, once created apply the pros to each. Each checked item is a pat on your back, and you can treat yourself to a special little treat, just for you.

3) Take time for yourself. I have found that even two minutes of self-time every day can build your inner strength.

4) Journal your thoughts—this will help in focusing during stressful times.

5) Create a to-do list for the day, week and month. Remember that it must be flexible; this helps in reducing the stress level and allows for the flexibility we sometimes need.

6) Do not be afraid to be yourself. If you need help, ask. This one is the hardest for me. Continue reading “How to find balance in anything we do”