By: Aurora Lucas
In 1996, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program (WGS) was launched at Roosevelt University. Seventeen years after the program was launched, faculty and students are now able to enjoy the new Gender Justice Space located in the historic Auditorium Building.
It took three years after the initial request made in 2010 for WGS to get approval for the space.
Since the recent transfer of many organizations and offices into the Wabash Building, the department was finally granted the space due to the Auditorium Building’s vacancies.
Finally on Sept. 12 students and faculty members gathered in the newly transformed space to celebrate the first of what will become the Annual WGS Social.
The space is more than just an area for students to mingle in, however. The Gender Justice Space can be used for building a community throughout the university and holding academic discussions. A wall in the lounge area also provides students with a collection of WGS books and magazines to use as a resource.
Director of Women’s and Gender Studies Program Ellen O’Brien spoke about the opportunities the space provides for both faculty and staff.
“We created this space for whoever wants to commit and participate in the gender justice community,” O’Brien said. “They can hangout and watch movies, and do a lot of things here. As long as they are using this space with respect, they can reserve a spot for meetings but not the entire room.”
The room will also serve as an office space for WGS graduate assistants.
Molly Barnard, a WGS graduate student, explains what the space means for the people who created and organized it.
“I think it’s really important because even though Women’s and Gender Studies is only a minor and a graduate program, there is still a lot of people who are gender justice advocates who don’t have the time or that they’re doing something different, and to have a safe space and building that community is crucially important,” Barnard said.
Anyone in the Roosevelt community is welcome to join WGS faculty and students in the new space. The Gender Justice Space is located in AUD 670.