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Petition opposes possible move of Women’s Studies program offices

Published: Monday, November 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013 13:11

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Kirstie Rouse

Some members of the ETSU community have started a petition opposing the possible move of the Women’s Studies department from their current location in the Campus Center Building. According to the change.org site, 750 people have signed the petition.

According to the petition, Women’s Studies may be moved due to another department being split up. This would allow the larger department to move where Women’s Studies is currently located. Two locations, one being the back of the Campus Center Building and the other being its basement, have been looked at as possible new homes for the Women’s Studies program, according to the petition.

Members of the campus community have shown their support for keeping Women’s Studies in its current location by posting fliers in buildings across campus and hanging a banner on the Campus Center Building. The banner and fliers say, “Don’t Displace Women’s Studies.” Along with the fliers and banners, a petition has recently been posted on the website change.org.

The petition was created by the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, an organization on campus that promotes gender equality and human rights.

The petition asks for the university as a whole to stand with the program as they fight to keep their current space on campus.

The petition stated that, “Displacing Women’s Studies would be a detriment to our campus community, would reflect poorly on our university’s mission to the best university in the nation (our mission), and would undermine our university’s commitment to diversity.”

The petition then goes on to state that the Women’s Studies current location isn’t just a normal office, but a safe haven for LGBTQIA students and that it acts as a home away from home for many of the Women’s Studies students.

The program does not simply just apply as a major or minor for students, but offers a class that serves all students.

The Introduction to Women’s Studies course meets both the general education and writing intensive university requirements. Including majors and minors, the program served 472 students across the university last academic year.

The petition also stated that, “Displacing would be a real detriment to our program and a move backwards.”

An official with Women’s Studies was contacted by the East Tennessean, but declined to comment for a news story while the process is ongoing.

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