The Center for Gender Equity (CGE) is using the power of education and advocacy to make Pacific University a more welcoming and accepting campus for all students. According to CGE student co-chair Olivia Barrows, an important part of the CGE is educating Pacific students and the community about issues regarding gender and sexuality.
“We’ve done a lot of stuff in the past with advocating for professors to use correct pronouns and educating how that impacts students,” Barrows said. “We also do a lot of work with community organizations to sponsor their programing when it aligns with issues that we’re concerned with.”
In November, the CGE will be tabling in the University Center (UC) to celebrate LBGTQ week.
“It’s always a really important and popular event that we put on,” Barrows said. “It’s a week about celebrating different identities and again educating students about pronouns, things like that and hopefully creating a more inviting, welcoming and accepting campus for all students.”
According to CGE student staff member Marissa Williams, the CGE plans to have more involvement with national events, such as Bi Visibility Day and Transgender Awareness Week, by increasing their online presence.
“Hopefully it will help us have more of a presence for those events along with promoting our regular events as well,” Williams said.
According to Williams, the goal for all of these events is to introduce ideas about gender that people had not thought about before.
“We always have goals of creating successful events that address exactly what we want them to address,” Williams said. “Like with the Step into Her Shoes event, we want men to think about what women go through each day with having to wear makeup to make more money at jobs and things like that.”
Williams said CGE is currently looking into setting up a volunteer program for students who are interested in getting involved. For students interested in the theories behind the CGE events, Barrow suggests looking into the courses within the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor because they can be very helpful in giving an in-depth view of those concepts.
“Maybe now more than in the past it’s really important to take that advocacy stance and bring that education more to the forefront, as other groups are feeling more vulnerable,” Barrows said. “I think it’s just a constant process of trying to educate and make people feel safe and welcome.”