Women’s Studies Wraps Up Forum Series

Megan Lee

On Thursday, April 10, the Women’s Studies Seminar class held an open forum, “The F Word: Feminism and Her Many Faces” at the Center for Women’s Studies. The students of the class facilitated and planned this luncheon, which marked the end of a series of five Women’s Series forums that began March 13.

The students of the seminar, which is the capstone course for the Women’s Studies concentration and minor, planned these series of luncheon forums, which discussed topics ranging from Hillary Clinton to hook-ups. Issues such as stereotypes and gender roles were brought up. According to senior Audrey Stevens, each student of the class led a forum based on their individual semester-long projects.

Planning for these forums began in mid-February.

“We got it done in a week and a half,” Stevens said.

Most of the time went into meeting with various directors and administrators, as well as obtaining the resources needed for the open luncheon forums. The Department of Sociology and Anthropology provided $100 of funding while the Center for Women’s Studies provided the venue.

Although Women’s Studies forums have been held on campus for over two years, this year’s forums were most successful in garnering campus-wide interest. Participation ranged from 15 people to 45 people.

“The time slots proved important,” Stevens said.

This year’s forums were held during the Thursday common period; during previous years, they had been held in the evening.

While most of the forum participants were women, a number of men showed up as well.

“They were vocal,” Stevens said.

According to Women’s Studies Program Assistant Liz Thompson, the open forums were most important in furthering feminist interest on campus.

“Having a discussion about feminist beliefs was a really powerful way to open these discussions to those outside of Women’s Studies who may not participate in them otherwise,” Thompson said.

Stevens shared similar thoughts.

“I just think it’s such a great experience to be a part of the planning and to see the forum working for some people,” Stevens said.