Auggies Organizing for Choice

Sarah Burke, contributor
Auggies Organizing for Choice logo of venus and mars planetary symbols being linked with a circle and has “A O C” typed over, obtained from the organization’s Instagram page @auggies_aoc. 

Many college students came from high schools where they were not taught about sex education or reproductive rights at all or taught very little. Auggies Organizing for Choice (AOC) is a group dedicated to normalizing those taboo conversations and making it easier to ask for information. 

AOC is a fun and educational group that started in 2019. Its mission is to educate and bring awareness to reproductive matters. This includes pro-choice activism and partnering with other groups such as Planned Parenthood to help college students. 

AOC is led by four board members. Naheeda Ahamadeen, senior, serves as the president, while Rachel Ferkin is the vice president. The team meets every Thursday to go over projects, plan and rant about current events. 

Ahamadeen said she founded the group after she saw that Planned Parenthood wanted Augsburg to create a group under the Generation Action program. She said that there had been a group called Women for Political Change, but because it stopped shortly after, Ahamadeen thought there was room to grow. 

Ferkin joined AOC this year. They had a similar reason for joining the group and expressed their need for activism work on campus. 

“I decided to join AOC to be an activist for reproductive health and justice. By joining this community I have learned so much and have been able to teach others about Reproductive health and rights!” said Ferkin. “AOC is special because we have no shame in digging into the “taboo topics”! We strive to be inclusive for all through our programming and work within the Augsburg community!”

Their next event, Only Auggies, is being held on March 26 from 7-8 pm. Only Auggies is an event about porn and the objectification of women and people of color, how porn affects expectations of sex and ethical alternatives to porn. 

AOC will host Sextravangza as their final event of the year. The event will include sex trivia, games and a sex toy giveaway. 

“A message we would like Augsburg students to know would be that talking about sex and reproductive health shouldn’t be embarrassing or scary!” says Ahamadeen. “It doesn’t get more normal and natural than sex and our bodily functions, which we’ve somehow become convinced are abnormal and unnatural. They are things that every person deals with and we should talk about them way more!”