Women climb to the top

Chantel Vargas

  Women Rock began last year with the intentions of empowering women and encouraging feminist ideals.

  Rock climbing is often seen as a male-dominated sport, but the creators of Women Rock, Marshall McArthur and Michael Davalos, want to show that women have no need to feel intimidated.

  Women Rock takes place every other Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

  One of their biggest challenges has been that students do not take advantage of the opportunities that they have on campus.

  “Across the country, it can be a struggle to get women to come and climb because of the culture and being unsure.

  “We just really want to build a culture where women can feel comfortable,” said McArthur.

  Patricia Lai is a senior engineer major at CSUB. Lai began visiting the SRC last semester just for fun. She climbed to the top of the 34-foot wall with the SRC staff’s advice and encouragement.

  “It’s important for us to empower women and to get them to safely and responsibly try new things that they might be intimidated by. Empowerment comes from doing new things and learning more about yourself. Not everything comes easy, so push yourself and find something that you enjoy doing not only to learn from the experience but so that you can say, ‘I climbed this rock wall. What else can I do?’” said McArthur.

  “I think that this sport is usually associated so much more with males because this requires more arm strength, but it also encourages women to go for it,” said senior arts major Karen Valenzuela.

  “Since we started it last year, we didn’t really have a curriculum at first. We were just trying to see how many women would come in. Last year we didn’t really get that much. But since we started this semester, and we started having a curriculum, like this is what we’re going to teach at this time, women started coming in. I think last week we had a total of 10 females come in, so it’s definitely growing since last year,” said Davalos.

  “The Rock!” is the name of the rock wall station in the SRC. The mountain is divided into three different rock walls, “The Blister Maker,” “Orange You Glad You Climbed Me?” and “Cake Walk.”