Rutgers becomes involved in national #ReadMyLips campaign

Dharni Rao, president of Rutgers Mogul, helped introduce to Rutgers the <a href="">#ReadMyLips </a>campaign, a movement intended to maintain the momentum of the Women's March.
Photo by Photo by Kajal Patel | The Daily TargumDharni Rao, president of Rutgers Mogul, helped introduce to Rutgers the <a href="">#ReadMyLips </a>campaign, a movement intended to maintain the momentum of the Women's March.

Rutgers University’s faction of Mogul has recently joined the #ReadMyLips campaign, one of the fastest-growing grassroots campaigns for women among college campuses.

Mogul is a global online platform for women to share their stories, gain knowledge about current issues and exchange information and support, according to their website. By joining Mogul, Rutgers is providing another way for students to stay informed about the happenings around campus.

The #ReadMyLips campaign was created to continue the actions of those who participated in the Women’s March in January. The campaign has expanded nationwide as a way for women to express their concerns about President Donald J. Trump protecting women’s rights, according to the website.

The campaign got its name, #ReadMyLips, for two reasons, the first being the initial message of making the people’s voices heard. The phrase "read my lips" can be tied back to George H. W. Bush’s pledge not to raise taxes during his presidential campaign, said Dharni Rao, president of Rutgers Mogul. 

Creators of this movement decided it would be best to give the phrase a new political meaning by associating it with women’s rights, she said. 

The campaign is not limited by political affiliation. Women and men alike are encouraged to partake in this movement to make sure Trump hears the concerns of the American people regarding women’s rights and health rights, Rao said. 

To make their voices heard, all messages received through the #ReadMyLips campaign will be printed out and placed inside a beautiful sculpture. This sculpture was designed by veterans of the late night comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). The sculpture will be delivered to the White House on April 21.

As a school that prides itself on its diversity, Rutgers got involved with the campaign in an effort to continually support its students, their beliefs and needs, Rao said. Rutgers is the only public research university in the United States that also offers the option to join a women’s residential college. 

“The issue that this campaign is trying to solve isn't about what political party you support. This is about humanity. No one should feel discriminated against for their religion, race, gender, etc. This is a motto that Rutgers will always follow,” Rao said.

Rao said that Rutgers became involved in this campaign after seeing the huge support of women’s rights in light of the new presidential administration.

#ReadMyLips is necessary for women at Rutgers and all over the country because the United States is at a critical point where women are being denied important rights, she said.

“If President Trump is unable to provide women with the right to make their own choices about their own health, then we also have the right according to our first amendment to take a stand. That is exactly what Rutgers is doing,” Rao said.

She said students who wish to get involved with the campaign personally should create a Mogul account and then post a story on Mogul with #ReadMyLips in the title. 

Messages to Trump are coming in a variety of ways, such as letters and videos, Rao said. 

Public support of the #ReadMyLips campaign is also simple — the campaign will send a #ReadMyLips pin to all those who share their stories on Facebook and tag @onmogul, she said.

The campaign began in February and continues until the statue full of messages to the president is delivered on April 21 to the White House in Washington, D.C., according to their website.

Christina Froelich is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum.