This past fall, the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action (Cal Poly SLO PPGA) was created. PPGA is a network of young activists at more than 300 college campuses who organize events in their communities and advocate for reproductive freedom.
“Reproductive justice is something that I really want to fight for and Planned Parenthood is a major organization that fights for that and for equal accessibility for all women and men,” Cal Poly SLO PPGA co-president and political science senior Rachel Agarpo said.
The Cal Poly chapter was created after Agarpo and her co-president attended the Planned Parenthood Western Conference in Seattle.
“We just went to see what it was about,” Agarpo said. “While we were there, we learned that there was this branch of Planned Parenthood called Generation Action that is focused on college advocacy, and then we realized that [University of California, Santa Barbara] and [California State University] Channel Islands both have them and we don’t.”
This month, the club has worked on getting the word out and increasing their membership and campus involvement. Agarpo said the new membership process is going well.
Since officially becoming a club on campus in early November, the Cal Poly chapter has boothed in the University Union and at the Women’s March. The chapter was also part of the coalition that put on the #MeToo March Against Rape Culture and will be holding a booth on Valentine’s Day for National Condom Week.
“We’re trying to build coalitions with other groups and communities and also hold our own events on campus as well once we get established,” Vice President of Cal Poly SLO PPGA and philosophy junior Gina Welisch said. “We really want to be a community-based group that works on advocacy and activism.”
Cal Poly SLO PPGA wants students to know if they have any questions about what the chapter is about, they should not be intimidated to contact them. According to Welisch, PPGA is meant to be a place where students can feel safe and respected.
“I’m involved to help with my group of friends and everyone I’m connected with as a first year, to know all of their resources and get the supplies they need,” psychology freshman Holly Davis said. “The rumors are not all true. It’s not all about abortions, it’s about having the resources to have safe sex, and it’s OK to be talking about these issues.”