Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Gender and Women’s Studies Club Changes Up Their Name and Their Game.

PALOMAR COLLEGE—The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) club members kicked off their first meeting on Feb. 14, 2024 with discussions surrounding the hesitation some students might have in joining the club. Cautiously, they approach the long journey to inclusivity.

“I’ve observed that during club rush or table events, many people hesitate to approach or assume that the club is exclusively for women upon seeing the name,” said GWS President Evelyn Galan Acevedo.

The current name dates back to 2015 when the club was originally created by students who were gender and women’s studies majors. The club has been consistent since then, but members sense that a larger turnout could transpire with some presentation changes.

“Students for Justice and Equality is a potential name,” said Galan. “The club is open to anyone, regardless of gender or major, as long as you’re passionate about social issues and willing to have an open mind.”

Still, could there be any issues, or, perhaps, confusion surrounding a name change?

GWS is dipping their toe in a wider pond, one encompassing coexisting branches of justice and equality. I’d presumed there might be concerns about breaching the gap between gender and women’s topics, and the social issues affecting other marginalized communities.

“The only possible downside is that if we have a more general name (Students for Justice, for example) that issues specifically about gender inequality might get pushed to the side. But I’m hopeful that won’t happen,” said club advisor and Sociology professor, Devon Smith. “A more general name could cast a wider net in terms of student involvement…the more diverse student membership, the better!”

GWS members hope to build a community of inclusivity and support to approach sensitive social issues that students have experienced or learned about. Although initially started by students in Gender and Women’s studies, the different discussion topics vary, and in fact, are welcome.

“I hope that a potential name change is able to raise more specific, intersectional issues up for discussion,” said Vyn Majeska, club treasurer.

The GWS Instagram page serves as a visual representation of these very intersectional issues. There are educational slides available on topics such as the violence against Indigenous communities, race as a social construct in the United States and how period poverty affects people’s access to the purchase of menstrual products.

“There are many factors that affect how women and queer people are treated, such as race, ethnicity, class, disability, etc.,” said Majeska.

In the same way that a dated social structure of gender norms has dictated the way individuals interacted for years, other structures such as economic hierarchies, border separations, colonization and racial discrimination all play a role in the current speed bumps in the road to social equality and freedom of expression.

The journey to a state of representation and inclusivity is a long one with many first steps. It stretches for miles, twisting like a maze, nearly impossible to decipher without the help of many great minds and perspectives alike. What is the next ‘first step’ for GWS? A name that will open up a new path.

Interested? Click here for more information on GWS:

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.