To round out our month of Bad Ass Women, we’ve chosen Gettysburg College Democrats President, Political Science and Public policy major Marley Dizney Swanson.
- Accomplishment you’re proud of?
Marley is most proud of having served as President of the Gettysburg College Democrats. Throughout her four years with the club, she has seen the numbers rise from a regular eight to a regular thirty. The club has made students on campus excited about politics by bringing speakers like Amanda Litman (co-founder of Run for Something), Kate Michelman (former President of NARAL Pro-Choice), and Abigail Layton (Director of the Family Division in the Delaware Department of Justice). The club has also deepened its relationship to the community via service: club members volunteer almost 20 hours a week in at the Adams County Democrat Committee (ACDC) Headquarters and host an annual Survivors Drive where members gather supplies for victims of domestic assault in the surrounding community. Most importantly, Marley is proud of all the women she’s seen grow through this club and know that they will all go off to do incredible things.
2. Challenge faced as a woman?
As an outspoken (and very loud) feminist, Marley has found it challenging to go high while the rhetoric in politics goes very, very low. Every “grab her by the pussy” comment, every attack on powerful women based on their appearances, every pedophilic remark unearthed over the course of the campaign felt like a stab in the heart of the progress women had made over her lifetime. Trump’s election was the apex of despair and made millions of women (Marley included) feel like their bodies, thoughts and existences were not respected. Marley has been inspired by the conversations had in College Democrats about the importance of feminism and the necessity of respect in politics. She says that the members of this club give her the confidence to meet this challenge every day.
3. Favorite thing about women / being a woman?
Being a woman is incredible because you are surrounded by millions of other women who support you for being a woman, Marley said. You need someone to give you an honest opinion about an outfit? You can count on women for that. Need someone to walk home with you at night because you don’t want to do it alone? You can count on women to walk with you. You need millions of allies to stand with you in front of the White House to show the President that you won’t accept the way he treats you? You will be surrounded by strong, amazing, powerful women.
4. Woman you admire and why?
Marley describes her obvious answer as Hillary Clinton. She says that her poise and brilliance in the face of endless adversity and harassment deserves the utmost respect. Her service to the United States as First Lady, Senator of New York, and Secretary of State was done with brilliance and compassion. She broke down barriers for women everywhere and will continue to serve as a role model to girls around the world.
Other women that Marley consider role models are Leslie Jones for teaching girls to love themselves by being radically herself, Kate McKinnon for being a fantastic representative of the LGBTQA+ community and Piper O’Keefe for her genuine compassion, service, and positivity that pushes me to be a better woman every day.
5. Plans after Gettysburg?
Marley has been hired at the American University of Cairo, where she will be learning about a new part of the world and improving her Arabic language skills. Afterwards, she plans to return to the U.S. to complete a Masters degree in International Affairs before taking the Foreign Service Exam. Marley’s ultimate goal is to serve as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in the Public Diplomacy sector.
Because this is Marley’s last semester as a part of the club and as president, we wanted to make this a little bit more special. Here are some thoughts from members of the club.
“Marley is the most dedicated and hardworking person I know. Her commitment to helping others is incredible and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her these past two years.” – Matt Salton
“Marley is very intelligent and an amazing president. She makes everyone in the club feel included and really creates a safe environment for everyone to share there opinions. She’s a great listener and is always open to new ideas on how to improve the club. Her work ethic inspires others to strive to be there best selves. She is an amazing leader and we will all miss her so much next year.” – Nadine Snyder
“When I started going to College Dems meetings, I began to make friends and come out of my shell. Marley was one of the first people who made me feel like it was okay to just be me. For the first time, I felt like I belonged here when she would laugh and joke around with me. Marley really helped me realize that I am worth being around and people can like me for who I am, I shouldn’t change and I shouldn’t always keep my mouth shut.” – Grace Wenzel
“Under her leadership we have brought in more speakers than ever before, and we have been able to retain a large club membership and really excite and invigorate the Democratic base here on campus.” – Andrew Dalton
“Ever since I befriended Marley when she was a first semester freshman, and she told me about her intended triple major, I knew she was going places. The triple major obviously faded away, but her intelligence and determination is more than evident in the many incredible things she has accomplished. I’ll always inspired by and proud to be friends with such a #NastyWoman.” – Piper O’Keefe
Editor’s Note: Marley has very obviously entirely changed my life for the better. I would not be the person that I am today without her. Her determination, intelligence and compassion pushes me and other people to be better every single day. I have no doubt that she’s going to go on after Gettysburg to do incredible things, and I can’t wait to watch.