"Women’s Studies" becomes "Gender Studies"
The discussion about women's and gender issues has been a part of the college for many, many years in formal ways (programs organized and sponsored by the Diversity Learning Center) and informal ways (faculty conversations). The academic program was a faculty-driven initiative called the Feminist Reading Group that began in 2005, led by David Cope. This group gathered to discuss a variety of gender issues on-campus and worldwide. David Cope created the Introduction to Women’s Studies class. This group also wrote a position for a Women’s Studies Coordinator and in the Fall of 2008, Dean Patti Trepkowski approved this position as a 3-hour release time assignment. In the Fall of 2009, the members of the Feminist Reading Group joined with others to create the Women’s Studies Curriculum Team. During the first meeting, the group voted to change the name from Women’s Studies to Gender Studies. This was done to expand the dialogue and curriculum so that all areas of how we think about and define gender (including, but not limited to, femininity, masculinity, men’s and women’s studies) and sexual orientation could be more fully explored.