The SEE US movement started with a KELOLAND student, but it’s got national aspirations. It’s a message that’s crossed the minds of many young girls, their parents, and female athletes across KELOLAND: the desire to be treated as an equal.
Augustana University senior Courtney Place was a volleyball player at the school. Tuesday night SEE US was at the Augustana women’s basketball game. After what she experienced when she was younger, she wants to see changes.
“There were times where I was harassed, and I remember specifically there was a time where I got a kill in a volleyball game, and I heard the crowd chanting ‘she’s a man,’ or I got 2,000 points in basketball, and I was told that my points didn’t count as much and they weren’t as meaningful because I was playing against women,” Place said.
Teammates at Augustana fought eating disorders as well as negative body image. Last February, Place launched the SEE US.
“It’s a movement that spreads awareness about female athletes being underrepresented, sexualized, and judged on appearance rather than ability,” Place said.
The Augustana chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America is working with SEE US. Senior Leah Blom is president of the chapter.
“Since we have Courtney right here on our campus, she’s our age, she’s working with issues that we feel really strongly about right here on our campus,” Blom said.
Blom sees the problems, too.
“I know here at Augie’s campus, we have the swim team, they’re in swimsuits, and people will be like, we’re just come to see you in a suit, or whatever,” Blom said. “And, or volleyball even, boys will say, we just came to see the spandex or watch your butt, or whatever. And that’s gross.”
Place wants SEE US to be a spark.
“I hope that it just spreads awareness and starts conversations that didn’t happen before, and I think that it’s a hard subject to talk about, and a lot of people are afraid to discuss female empowerment in general but with sports especially, and hopefully I want it to become a nationally-known thing,” Place said.