This year Pacific University’s Center for Gender Equity (CGE) experimented with new events, new projects, new people and new relationships with the Forest Grove community.
“We did more stuff with masculinity this year,” sophomore Olivia Barrows said. “So that was exciting, bringing in a new perspective from other people.”
CGE hosted the Mending Masculinity slam poetry event in February, which drew a large crowd. However, there has been a lack of male voices on GGE in recent years.
According to CGE members, the club is looking for more ways to incorporate Pacific men in their conversations.
“We actually just spoke to the football coach like ‘what can we do? How can we do this?’ He was wonderful and supportive and gave great ideas,” sophomore Marissa Williams said. “Involving the football team in our male programming made it amazing.”
Next semester, CGE hopes to become more diverse and gender-wise in their events. They also hope for better turnouts at events. CGE has been active in the Forest Grove community recently as well. The club went to Forest Grove High School in April to give a presentation about bystander intervention in traumatic events inspired by the play, “The Laramie Project.”
The play recounts how a small town reacted to the homophobic murder of one of its own members.
“We brought ‘The Laramie Project’ to campus,“ Barrows said. “That was a really powerful story to be able to share.”
CGE went on the road with “The Laramie Project” as well, traveling to and performing at Linfield College and Portland Community College Rock Creek. Other successful CGE events this semester included LGBTQ week, Take Back the Night and Human Body Canvas, which CGE plans to continue annually.
“I feel everything was really effective in conveying the messages we wanted to get across,” freshman Sophia O’Neal said. “We also involved a lot of the community and the students on campus.”