Community Support & Education Assistant (CSEA) student in group discussion in classroom

Continuing the fight for equality: Elva Gutierrez

Camosun College honours International Women’s Day 2024 by recognizing Elva Gutierrez, the Women’s Director for the Camosun College Student Society (CCSS). She reminds students to continue fighting for equality and to find inspiration on the path.

A young woman in a sweater stands in front of the blue sky on a beach

Elva Gutierrez is the Women's Director for the Camosun College Student Society.

One of Elva Gutierrez’s responsibilities as CCSS Women’s Director is to lead and support the student society Women’s Collective, an intersectional feminist group that promotes solidarity and advocates for social justice. This gives her first-hand experience of how women can work together and inspire one another.

“Every woman in my life has inspired me in multiple ways,” says Elva. “My mom inspires me to fight for what I want and not give up. My sister inspires me to be passionate and make the best of every situation I encounter. My current roommate, who currently does social work and helps women who encounter any type of violence, inspires me to work for what I think is right.”

The general science student also finds inspiration in the CCSS staff that she collaborates with. “People like Christine [CCSS member services coordinator] inspire me to help others, because you never know what other people are going through and what position they’re in.”

In addition to the work that women do to support each other, Elva values the larger contributions that women make to society. “Throughout history, women haven’t had the chance to let their voice be heard or their ideas to be followed and researched. Women have minds, voices and great ideas. When they are heard, women are able to accomplish extraordinary things.”

She continues: “Every single change from the progress of civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, to where we are today gives me hope. It is obvious that there has been a lot of change in society. But that doesn’t mean everything is fine now – there’s a lot more ground to cover, and just imagining where we could be 50 years from now gives me hope to continue to fight for equity.”

While Elva is still a student and at an early stage of her life journey, she has advice and wisdom to share. “Meet as many people as you can and open yourself to new opportunities,” she says. “Have an open mind and fight for what you believe is right. There will always be people who share your ideas and values, so you will never be alone on your path.”

Contact information

Roseanne Harvey

Marketing & Communications Strategist

Camosun College