ROTC encourages women


One is not born a woman, one becomes one. The prior spoken were words spoken by Simone de Beauvoir– French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist.  The Tiger Battalion of Grambling State’s ARMY ROTC department held a symposium for the female student body this past Tuesday in the T.L. James Auditorium.

Assistant professor of Military Science Captain Rochelle Howard thought of the idea to host the event last year. “It was in the fall during the commissioning ceremony. I noticed that there were a lot of females that needed some mentorship. Granted these individuals are service members but they must be ladies first,” added Howard.

The first guest speaker for the morning was Debra Johnson, acting executive director of external affairs. Johnson spoke to the ladies about the importance of having balance in the daily lifestyle. “Women are balancers of the world. If you are unable to keep yourself balanced, you cannot keep your household balanced.” Johnson also stressed the significance of maintaining control as well as order. “Life may deal you a challenging hand, you have to be able to attain uniformity,” says Johnson.

Next up was Wendy Poe, consultant for Mary Kay cosmetics. Poe’s oration to the audience was the value of nutrition and skin care. 

“Although I’m not in the military, I know how easy it is to develop a hard demeanor as well as lose femininity.” Poe also provided some insightful tips to promote and restore nutrition such as clean and moisturizing skin, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting adequate hours of sleep at night. In addition to nutritional information, she explained the basics of makeup and how to properly apply it to the face. “Foundation is supposed to match the skin tone- not too dark giving the appeal of a tan or too light, making you look like a mime. More is not always better,” said Poe.

The final speaker was faculty member Rene Jefferson, who rendered the most important portion of the event, dressing and acting the part. 

“In order to dress you have to have respect for yourself. Dress articulates how you feel about yourself,” said Jefferson.

With assistance from ROTC cadets, Jefferson illustrated what should be worn and at what occasions, and explained why it was either appropriate or inappropriate. “There are such clothing that can only be worn at certain places- a dress or skirt that you would wear to the club should not be worn to church or for a job interview.” Jefferson also highlighted that ladies should be subtle and not flashy with their attire.

When asked if she gained anything from the event, student Teair Douglas was in concurrence. “I received more knowledge about appropriate dress style, make-up etiquette as well as how to be balanced in my life,” said the Ruston native.

In the future, Captain Howard aspires to host more symposiums and adds she will not omit the male student body. The event was ended with presentations of awards- a certificate of appreciation to the speakers. A reception followed in the ROTC building.