By Dulce Carrillo
Women in past decades in East Los Angeles College wore the same uniforms but played the same sport as the men did when Title IX was introduced.
ELAC Women’s Studies Committee presented to a full crowd of Elans about the benefits of Title IX in women’s athletics last Thursday in the women’s gym.
Title IX is a law that was passed in 1972. No person in the US, color or gender, can be discriminated or excluded from participating in school activities and the athletic programs. Everyone must be treated equally and with the same benefits.
The Women’s Studies committee invited two guest speakers, Geraldine Fiorello and Sarah Marquez, who were involved with the struggles of equal rights (before and after 1972) because they were woman.
Another speaker was a current student from ELAC and former athlete, Stephanie Rodriguez, who was thankful to the women who fought for Title IX.
“We have everything compared to the women who were fighting for equal rights before Title IX was introduced. Thank you for fighting for the future women athletes,” Rodriguez said, former ELAC basketball player.
This law enforcement helped many girls and women play sports mentioned Marilyn Ladd, professor here at ELAC and member of the college Women’s Studies committee.
“Before Title IX, women had cheerleading and square dancing as sports. There was a two percent budget for women and no scholarships… After Title IX passed, we continued to wear the same uniforms for every sport,” Ladd said. Ladd was also a student in ELAC and played multiple sports.
“The love of the game was the reason why we got the program started,” guest speaker Geraldine Fiorello said. Fiorello became a coach of many sports. Before, men didn’t want to coach female teams, there were 9 to 10 for women coaches, so there were women coaches who coached many female teams.
“Beginning of 2008, 43 percent were women coaches. Just because money took place, men started to find interest in women sports,” Ladd said.
Raised in East Los Angeles and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1968, Sarah Marquez was an ELAC student who wanted to pursue her dream in mechanics.
“In Roosevelt, the auto shop teacher wouldn’t let me enter his class because I was a girl. That girls can’t do what boys can do. So I wasn’t able to take the class because of that,” Marquez said.
“Once I came to ELAC, my experience being at school changed. I was doing well and I was offered a full scholarship to Harvard. I turned down that full scholarship to become a shop professor,” Marquez said.
Marquez graduated from Cal State with a bachelor’s degree and got a standing ovation she mentioned. “Seeing the crowd applaud for me was unbelievable. Having to go through a hard time because I was a woman, I felt accomplished when I was being respected by a huge crowd,” Marquez said.
Ending the ceremony with questions and answers, the ladies were applaud and cheered on by the stories they shared.
“Seeing woman grow up and make something out of their lives is a great achievement to see,” Fiorello said.
Tomorrow at the S2 Recital Hall, they will be showing the film “Iron Jawed Angels”, illustrating the women’s suffrage movement.