Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT’s Women’s Resource Agency promotes safe workout space with HustleHer Series

Amara Lopez

A sense of belonging settles among students as they begin their run at Clark Field. As bright lights shine on the track, students like Sydney Nguyen work out with ease. 

“If I had gone alone, I would be self-conscious running around the track,” said Nguyen, a physics and astronomy sophomore. “But we are doing it with other people. It makes it less scary.”

This semester, the Student Government’s Women’s Resource Agency launched HustleHer, a series of workout sessions catered toward creating a safe and supportive environment where gender minorities can exercise without intimidation. On Nov. 2, they hosted their first event and said they anticipate more. 

“We try to promote intersectional feminism throughout campus by hosting events, advocating for female-identifying students’ needs, and try to serve the female-identifying student community as well as other marginalized gender communities on campus,” said Sunny Hou, WRA co-director and government sophomore. 

Physics and Plan II sophomore Olivia Castillo said HustleHer allows students to try new things while enjoying themselves.

“I knew women who felt uncomfortable going to the gym,” said Castillo, WRA co-director. “They’re not aware of how to work out, and they don’t know what’s out there.” 

Tension and unwelcomeness for gender minorities concerning fitness and health on campus remain prevalent, Hou said. 

“It can be very intense for female students, and we’re creating a space that hopefully creates a new norm where we make space for females and other gender minorities when it comes to fitness,” Hou said.

Hou said while putting events together results in success, promoting them to the student body remains an obstacle for the WRA.  

“Not a lot of people are aware of the Women’s Research Agency and what we’re trying to do,” Hou said. “It’s all about making sure that the student body knows that we are creating these events and resources for them because, (as) members of the student body, we know what we need the most.” 

Castillo said their next event, “Mob the Rec,” scheduled for  Nov. 28, partners with the Texas Lady Lifters. This event matches participants with an experienced partner, dubbed a “workout-out buddy,” who guides them through exercises. 

“Right now, we’re starting slow, so our workouts are low maintenance,” Castillo said. “Next semester, we’re going to increase it and have more complex things like pilates, biking and bouldering.”

Beyond the gym, as the political climate of Texas and the country grows more polarized, the WRA also helps students play a vital role in speaking up, Hou said. 

“The work we do is important in solidifying what past advocates and activists have worked toward: feminism and intersectional feminism,” Hou said. “We’re trying to continue that path and give voice to the voices that we feel (were) taken away by the political climate.”

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