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Women’s studies on the move

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Women have had a history of neglect throughout the ages. They are expected to cook and clean and take care of the children. Who decided this? It wasn’t women!

As a current student in CSU-Pueblo’s women’s studies department, I feel that it is important to understand how women have been neglected. Our university’s women’s studies program helps students understand the important role women play in society.

The current number of women’s studies minors (there is no women’s studies major) is 33, including four men. The department is very small, but everyone hopes it will grow. Becki Scola is a professor in the women’s studies department and political science department.

Scola does a lot of work with the Chicano studies department and with Professor Fawn-Amber Montoya, the backbone of Chicano studies at CSU-Pueblo.

Scola said she is very interested in expanding the women’s studies minor and attracting more participants. She is adamant about making women’s studies a larger program.

So far, Scola has succeeded, growing the program from eight minors at the beginning of fall semester to its current level. With the involvement going up “(students) are excited and want to make a difference in the program, the campus and in the community,” Scola said.

She is also trying to implement new ideas for the women’s studies program by “connecting with students, and creating a sense of community as well as ownership among the WS minors,” Scola said.

The women’s studies department offers several classes this summer and fall. These classes are taught by Scola, psychology professor Patricia Levy, Montoya, sociology professor Penny Green, psychology professor Karen Yescavage and other CSU-Pueblo faculty.

Professors and advisers are not the only ones creating opportunities for women’s studies students. “(Women’s studies minors) have started a club, a newsletter and are engaging in fundraising,” Scola said. People in the women’s studies program are starting to get involved on their own.

Women’s studies classes are cross-listed with courses in several majors. Marriage, Family & Relationships, which is taught by Levy, incorporates psychology. This allows the class to be cross-referenced with women’s studies and psychology.

Another class offered for upper level credit is Portraits: Voices of Protest Leaders, which is taught by Scola and Montoya. This class is referenced as WS 491 and incorporates women’s studies and political science.

Finding classes for the women’s studies department isn’t hard. All a CSU-Pueblo student has to do is log onto their e-account then register for classes under women’s studies (WS).

The growth of this department depends on participation; the more people who join, the more this department will gain. That is why everyone involved in this department depends so much on growth in the number of minors.

Everyone in the program is energetic about improving it.

The most important thing about any department is getting students to care about the department. “Importantly, our minors are excited about women’s studies,” Scola said, and she’s right.

Take one student, Emily Carruth, for instance. “At first, I thought a class on women and politics would be ridiculous and we would all sit and burn our bras and talk about how much we hate men,” Carruth said. But her opinion changed.

“(Scola) has done an amazing job of mentoring her students, such as myself, and expanding the women’s studies program,” Carruth said.