1975: Students Established Capitol Campus’ Chapter of NOW
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is – and has been for decades – the largest women’s civil rights group in the United States. In the mid-1970s, its main goals were to change the laws that discriminated against women and minority groups.
A student at Capitol Campus wrote an article about NOW and its national and PA state accomplishments in late 1974. By January 1975 students created the Penn State – Capitol Campus NOW chapter, which was fully funded and chartered by the SGA. Anne Kless, the first president of the Capitol Campus NOW chapter, was instrumental in starting and facilitating the new organization.
At its first meetings, NOW members discussed opening a women’s center on campus, creating a child care center, equal housing opportunities for students with school-age children, medical care, birth control, and tutoring services for non-traditional students. The Capitol Campus NOW chapter was an active group for the duration of the 70s and participated in local marches, demonstrations, and strikes for women and minority rights, and hosted events like film festivals and basic financial planning workshops.
Although the Capitol Campus chapter of NOW trickled out in the late 70s / early 80s, NOW is still an active national feminist activist organization today.