The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) held their semi-formal dance, the Sadie Hawkins Dance. This is the second year that SWE has hosted this event said President Jennifer Rochette. She says that the dance “is about having fun and creating an exciting environment on campus.” Freshman Pitika Jain is the club’s Fundraising Chair and discussed how the funds from this year’s dance were obtained via Senate as well as the club’s fundraising events held throughout the semester.
SWE was founded in 1950 and is defined as a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE encourages women to pursue engineering not only as a career but also as a lifestyle. The organization empowers its members to succeed and make advancements in their industries as leaders in their respective engineering fields. The group’s mission is to stimulate women to achieve their full potential in careers such as engineers and subsequently leaders. Because women are vastly underrepresented in the STEAM fields, this mission is extremely important. Members of SWE work towards portraying the image of engineers as a positive entity that improves the quality of life. As such, they host events geared towards education and female empowerment, and the Sadie Hawkins Dance is an important tradition in that vein.
The SWE semi-formal featured a DJ, and guests included the club’s executive board, general members, and the NJIT student body. Of all the groups in attendance, the most well-represented was the freshmen class. The club members explained the symbolic importance of the Sadie Hawkins Dance and its relation to SWE. The Sadie Hawkins Dance is a nontraditional event because it entails girls asking the boys to be their dates to the dance, versus the more culturally common and established alternative. SWE decided to host this particular event because the reversal of traditional gender roles in the case of girls asking the boys to the dance encourages female empowerment, which is a foundational principle for the girls in the Society of Women Engineers. Guests included Swanny Shi, freshman, and Karan Singh, junior, who shared their enthusiasm for the event and they appreciated the opportunity to spend time with their friends at a campus-supported event. The SWE are committed to furthering female empowerment on NJIT’s campus and on campuses around the country, and they are not afraid to have fun doing it.