Feminist student group advocates for ‘sex positivity,’ equality 


Brogan Gillmore

Kathlynn Short, president of FOCUS, speaks at their first meeting of the semester. The group focused on topics like abortion, “sex positivity,” and equality.

Wichita State has more than 240 registered student organizations, with a little bit of something for everyone — cultural organizations, ideological organizations, and even Dungeons and Dragons groups. 

One of those student organizations is Feminists on Campus Uniting Students (FOCUS).

“We try to advocate for equality for everyone, advocate for sex positivity, abortion positivity and just, like, not being a jerk, really,” said Kathlynn Short, president of FOCUS.

FOCUS hosted its first meeting of the semester Friday. Discussion centered around abortion and reproductive rights, and disseminating information about the history and benefits of having access to abortion.

Short said the group plans to have different topics and speakers at each of their biweekly meetings.

“So, we are trying to do events this year, like a sex-tival — it’s a sex festival. Keep an eye out for dildos in the RSC,” Short said.

The “sex-tival” isn’t the only thing on their docket. FOCUS is also looking to work with SGA to develop on-campus initiatives, such as stocking feminine hygiene products in all campus bathrooms and placing informational flyers around campus. 

Not everything that FOCUS wants to do or discuss will be as fun as a sex-tival, Short said, because some topics are too important and sensitive for a light-hearted event. 

“I’m ecstatic to turn, you know, sex positivity into a fun trivia thing,” Short said. “You can never talk about sexual assault and have it be a fun topic. But it’s something people need to talk about.”

FOCUS also partnered with URGE (United for Reproductive and Gender Equity), a group in the South and Midwest that advocates for similar stances and policies. URGE has several chapters in Kansas. 

As of Friday, Short and her vice president Katie Dakan are the only two members of FOCUS. Short said she hopes to get more people involved with the group.

“I’m hoping to have like, people come in and talk to us,” Short said. “Kind of just hoping for people who are passionate about the cause.”

Short is looking for passionate people like Mady Baker, who attended the meeting Friday. 

“I think it’s good to have some, like, different points of view, because there is a pro-life group on campus and it’s good to have one on the opposite end of that spectrum as well,” Baker said. “But also, I am pro-choice. I believe in that, but I also want to empower women.”

Short said women aren’t the only people FOCUS hopes to empower. 

“We’ve grown as a country and as a world — we’ve recognized that not only women are put down by various different policies,” Short said. 

She went on to say that their meeting on abortion wasn’t limited to issues for women, but transgender men and non-binary people as well.

“Feminism is for everyone,” Short said.