By: Melisa Bivian
Throughout the school year, students are given the opportunity to attend workshops or events that inform them about gender studies.
Unfortunately, only a few students choose to participate in learning more about the problems and solutions that women face in our society.
According to the National Women’s Studies Association everyone should have the ability to learn about women and gender.
NWSA was established in 1977 and they want to “promote a just world in which all persons can develop to their fullest potential— one free from ideologies, systems of privilege or structures that oppress or exploit some for the advantage of others.”
Association’s like NWSA formed to promote the importance of gender studies in the community.
Unfortunately, not all community colleges have implemented gender courses as a requirement.
At East Los Angeles College, gender studies courses are currently not a requirement.
For a student to receive an Associate Degree at ELAC, students are required to take certain courses, but a gender studies course is not one of them.
At this present time in society, students often hear about rape and domestic violence. Students know the general characteristics of what they should and should not do to others, but there is more information that students should be learning.
During the month of April, the Sexual Assault Awareness Violence Education Team at ELAC held several workshops and events to promote sexual assault awareness. Students learned about healthy consent, sexual assault how to report sexual assault, and other things.
October is domestic violence awareness month. Just like the month of April, SAAVE allows students to attend other events that will inform them in detail about domestic violence and what should be done if they or others they know are experiencing it.
The problem with these workshops and events is that they only happen twice a year on campus.
A solution to the lack of knowledge on gender studies should be adding gender studies to the social and behavioral sciences or the humanities requirements as a general education requirement.
ELAC should implement a new requirement for students when receiving their Associates degree. Students should at least take one course of gender studies to become aware of the issues that society has failed to address.
When looking for information about gender studies, students realize that there is not much to look at. Alissa Kristine Stoehr, a graduate student at Iowa State University wrote her thesis on “The Present Status of Women’s and Gender Studies Programs at Community Colleges.”
Stoehr wrote, “Most scholars who study the relationships between women’s and gender studies programs and community colleges assert that student characteristics, teaching and learning techniques and relevant pedagogy, and the involvement of community make women’s and gender studies courses an ideal addition to the community college curriculum.”
By adding gender studies to the general requirements, students will be able to see the world through a different lens.
They will be aware of the misconceptions that society has brought and what should be done to resolve the inequality that exists