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Women's Study
Association members attended several non-club events together, including A CALL TO MEN, with domestic violence activist Ted Bunch, They also visited City Hall and the offices of Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Michael Bennett to demonstrate support of the Violence Against Women Act.


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Women's Study Group hits the ground running

Chari Capps, Ryan McConnell, Ariel Diamond,  Amy Hollingsworth and Brenna Bishop are the association’s co-founders and executives.

Last fall, Ariel Diamond and Brenna Bishop were in a group of Colorado Mesa students touring Front Range colleges and universities when they noticed that every campus had some kind of women’s study program or student organization. The lack of similar opportunities at CMU sent them in search of like-minded students and faculty, who established the CMU Association of Feminists in December, 2012.

The association’s inaugural semester has been extremely successful. The group sponsored several events and speakers on campus, raising its profile. Inspired to create an academic program at CMU focusing on gender issues, members collaborated with three faculty members to assist in designing an interdisciplinary minor in women’s and gender studies, which was approved by the CMU board of trustees in May.

Diamond and Bishop, along with fellow executives and co-founding members Chani Capps, Miki Hollingsworth and Ryan McConnell, asked assistant professor of English Jennifer Hancock, PhD, to serve as club advisor. The club’s constitution states that members are “dedicated to the empowerment of the students of CMU,” offering “information and support to promote the equality of genders and to encourage social awareness and social responsibility.”
Over the course of the semester, the Fem Club participated in the One Billion Rising events on Valentine’s Day, standing up to abuse against women. They provided manicures for men and women to raise awareness of domestic violence, and showed Miss Representation, a documentary exploring the media’s portrayal of women, to a large crowd. The group also invited guest speakers to campus, including Karla Kitzman and Jennifer Allen, from the Latimer House, and Teresa Coons, from the Grand Junction City Council.

Association members attended several non-club events together, including A CALL TO MEN, with domestic violence activist Ted Bunch, They also visited City Hall and the offices of Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Michael Bennett to demonstrate support of the Violence Against Women Act.

The club members recognized the lack of an academic program focusing on women’s or gender issues at CMU, so they approached Hancock, along with sociology professor Brenda Wilhelm, PhD, and assistant professor of history Erika Jackson, PhD, about developing a minor program. The club was instrumental in gathering information for the proposal, which Hancock, Wilhelm and Jackson designed and presented to the Curriculum Committee. The minor in women’s and gender studies was subsequently approved on May 2.
“[The minor] will provide students with a solid foundation and understanding of gender constructs from an interdisciplinary perspective– significant knowledge that would connect with any major program,” Jackson said.

Students may begin taking classes toward completion of the minor at the start of the fall semester. Wilhelm will serve as academic advisor, and requirements will be published in the new catalog. •

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Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

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