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BU Women’s Ultimate team goes viral with gender equality campaign

Apryl Hsu, a member of BU’s Lady Pilots Ultimate Frisbee team.

BU Lady Pilots

Apryl Hsu, a member of BU’s Lady Pilots Ultimate Frisbee team.

What began as an effort to boost morale on the BU campus after the presidential election has become something of a viral sensation. An impromptu campaign promoting gender equality, started by members of the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team at BU, has been endorsed and adopted by other college sports teams and organizations.

It was sophomore Apryl Hsu who came up with the idea: Write “I need feminism because. . .” on a Frisbee and invite team members to finish the sentence. The athletes and their messages were then photographed and posted on Facebook.

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“It wasn’t totally a response to the election but the morale of the team and of my friends was kind of low,” Hsu says. “People were uncertain about the future and a little scared.”

On her Frisbee, Hsu wrote “I need feminism because we have yet to have a woman president.” Senior Jacki Salustro, co-captain of the BU Lady Pilots, wrote: “I need feminism because no one can limit me in what I am capable of.” Annika Chan wrote: “I need feminism because I play like a girl.”

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The campaign has been shared widely on Facebook and picked up by the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team at BU, and by Ultimate teams at Duke, the University at Albany, SUNY, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

“We just thought we’d gets some shares and likes, but in a couple of hours it became a thing on the Internet. It’s kind of a surreal experience,” said Hsu. “We did this as a catalyst for conversation and had no idea how people would respond.”

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