Women’s Studies looks to expand

Holly Pullano

The Women’s Studies program at Quinnipiac is alive and well. The problem is that most students aren’t aware that a Women’s Studies program even exists.

To address this issue, the program recently held a luncheon open to all students, staff and faculty to discuss the current presence, or lack thereof, of the program at Quinnipiac.

The event drew about 30 interested members of the campus community.

Attendees were encouraged to give feedback on how to best increase campus wide interest for women’s issues, as well as how to make the program more of an active presence in the Quinnipiac community.

Michele Hoffnung, director of Women’s Studies, said that due to the success of the first meeting, the program plans to hold these luncheons on a more regular basis. The second one will be held on April 8.

“The responses that we get to the Women’s Studies courses have always been very positive, but our goal is to get the word out that the program has a minor and a lot going on and get more people involved,” said Hoffnung.

Upcoming events and future plans for the expansion of the program were also discussed at the luncheon.

One of the larger events is the 9th Annual Celebrating Women’s Creativity Conference. The conference will return to Quinnipiac the weekend of March 21 – 22.

The conference will feature Ellen Goodman, a syndicated newspaper columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Goodman will deliver the keynote speech, “Women and Social Change: A Progress Report” on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Grand Courtroom of the Law School.

The conference will also include various workshops and activities relating to women’s issues.

Hoffnung also hopes to offer more activities on campus concerning women’s issues. She has plans to offer a different topic for each semester with activities and events that relate to the particular issue.

A plan for a web site and the development of an e-mail list was also discussed at the luncheon.

The Women’s Studies program offers an 18 credit minor open to both women and men. Students can choose from a wide group of courses that focus on women’s experiences, achievements, and treatment by society.

Even students who do not choose to minor in Women’s Studies can take these courses to fill some of their general education requirements.

Hoffnung said that women’s studies affects both genders equally, and encourages men to try out a course in the program.

“With a campus of over 60 percent females, these are all issues that directly effect women,” she said. “Additionally, a lot of males may not be in tune to women’s issues, but what happens when they get married or have a daughter? A background in these issues will greatly benefit them in the future,” she said.

Students interested in the Women’s Studies program are invited to contact Hoffnung at x8703, or by e-mail at [email protected]