The Center for Gender Equity joined forces with Pacific’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and created a power team.

“This merger makes sense for both CGE and the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor because the two programs share so much in common,” said Martha Rampton, the director of the Center for Gender Equity. “They are both dedicated to promoting gender equity and educating about the ways in which our worlds, bodies and experiences are gendered.”

As of August 2013, Pacific’s Gender and Sexuality Studies minor has become the “research and education” arm of CGE, said Rampton. The Gender and Sexuality Studies minor is now hosted in the School of Social Sciences under the direction of Rampton. The minor will remain a cross-disciplinary faculty committee as it has been from its inception.

The change was motivated by the need for the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor to have a faculty member specifically designated to oversee the program. Professor Aaron Greer is Chair of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Committee currently.The program is still interdisciplinary and will continue embracing perspectives from all subject areas, said Rampton.

A variety of social issues will continue to be covered and discussed with the change. Some of the goals are to make wealth of gender classes transparent, for example.

Classes will be added such as Queer Studies, Masculinity Studies, Sexuality and the Media, Biological Foundations of Sex and others.

“We hope to increase the numbers of students in our gender classes and in the minor and eventually to move the minor to a major.,” said Rampton. “In terms of CGE, it makes sense to add an academic element to the social service and advocacy work we have been doing for the last twelve years.”

The CGE was established in 2001 with a mission to support gender equity through dialogue, programming, service, research, education and advocacy. And that mission won’t change, but hopefully expands with the addition of the GSS minor. Different fields of study will have offerings that relate back to gender issues and ideas.

“The change will benefit students at large,” said Rampton. Those who are interested in minoring with Gender and Sexuality Studies will have more opportunities to be involved with such.

The merge also gives the opportunity for students who want to work with CGE on programming, service and advocacy projects. Students are able to participate without being on the CGE staff and within the context of a GSS class.

“An enhanced gender studies presence at Pacific will provide our students an important critical lens through which to examine their understanding of the world,” said Rampton.

“We believe that there is tremendous potential for GSS to grow and for Pacific to become ‘the’ place to come to do gender studies in the Northwest. But for this to happen, the program needs more oversight.”

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