The newly renovated Inclusion and Dialogue Center hosted an interest meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 26, for the Women and Gender Studies minor that is offered on Emory & Henry’s main campus. The meeting began at 7:30 p.m. with cupcakes, cookies and introductions from students and professors alike.
Around fifteen students attended the interest meeting, but many topics were addressed. Students suggested ideas for the on-campus advocacy potential of the minor and discussed what issues regarding gender equality could be addressed at E&H.
“I think they’re doing a lot of really positive work to make this applicable to any discipline, which it definitely is—whether it’s looking at disparities from discipline to discipline or the gender pay gap—there are ways to tie this into any almost any major on campus and to bring to light how relevant these issues are,” said Kaelee Belletto, an E&H sophomore who attended the interest meeting.
Dr. Bremner, a faculty member of the Women and Gender Studies Collective and part of the E&H Theatre Department, was part of the discussion at the meet-up.
“I think the turn-out was great. [There were] a lot of different people from a lot of different places on this campus, which is exciting, and reflects this makeup of the Collective, that we’ve got this interdisciplinary thing going,” said Dr. Bremner.
Dr. Bremner, Dr. Chamberlain, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Koch and Dr. Fleet are the professors who make up the official Collective of faculty members who are invested in the Women and Gender Studies minor program at E&H. Josh Von Castle and Project Ampersand advisor Joseph Vess are considered unofficial members of the Collective who also contribute to the group’s work in organizing the minor.
“I just find the whole idea of a Collective really exciting. […] Dr. Bremner and the others, it was their idea to start it. […] We have a charter, we have rules about how we respect each other’s assessments, and so far it has worked wonderfully, and I think it really has energized the program. It provides so many different viewpoints,” said Dr. Chamberlain, an English professor at E&H.
Four of the five Collective members were present at Tuesday’s interest meeting, in which each of them explained their personal interest in and history with the Women and Gender Studies minor.
“…This is such an important issue, I think students need to hear it, I think administration needs to hear it—I think [for people] on all walks of this campus and beyond, this is an important issue so I think it’s exciting to see students as energized about this as we are,” said Dr. Bremner.
The main topics brought up by students during the interest meeting were combating sexual assault on campus, breaking down… …common stereotypes of feminism in order to promote a better understanding of the issues that it works to improve, providing a safe space for women to discuss how to cope with domestic and emotional abuse, and creating a dialogue among E&H students about when to recognize the danger signs of men who become increasingly aggressive in response to rejection. According to students present at the interest meeting, these are some of the biggest issues that should be discussed on our campus.
“I think examining the malleability of the program is incredibly intriguing, because there are just so many different avenues we could take with it […] it’s opened up the doors for something that we can really mold as we’d like to, and I think that’s really positive,” said Belletto.
– Orion Rummler