Feedback sparks changes to men’s and women’s week

Nichelle Trulove -- Women’s United participants look forward to the affinity groups.

What used to be Men’s and Women’s Week changed this year, from a week of events to a semester of gender-specific events.

One of the main reasons for the change was feedback from students. A survey done by Student Services after Women’s Week last year concluded that students responded, saying “this (week) is great but what happens throughout the rest of the year?”

“We are trying to bring community to the women on campus. The guys are doing something similar, but we did not want to limit it to only talking about these issues one week a semester,” Heather Hubbert, assistant dean of students, said.

Finding an obvious need for the community, Student Services and other offices came up with a plan to best meet the issue. Still in the developing stage, several groups on campus are working together to develop and change Men and Women’s events, promoting more time of growth, accountability and bonds between people.

There will be two types of events for the women: larger events for everyone and some small interest groups. The interest groups, also called affinity groups, will work with staff and faculty that help lead them.

“A girl could say that I really love to read, or I really love to cook or I really love camping,” Hubbert said. Groups could be based off of any of those types of hobbies.

According to Scott, the affinity groups can be “anything from surfing to sowing to running to reading.”

These groups would be lead by staff and faculty meeting with the girls and like-minded people developing community and fellowship.

The large events are all held in the Staples room: Woman of Worth on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., Lunch and Learn Career Women on Dec. 5 at 12 p.m. and Christmas Crafts on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

As the men move forward to develop more specific programming, they have not fully decided as of yet how it will look but they see the same issues.

“A single week is great, but what we found out what was happening. A big portion of that is accountability, so we could talk about the specific issue but after the event there was not that accountability and follow up,” Ian Price, resident director of University Place, said.

The men’s program is developing differently then Women’s United.

Price said, “We are not trying to do something separate from what we are already doing. We have a lot of stuff that is already in place that we can just tweak to make it more men specific.”

In previous semesters there have been gender specific events, but they are no longer done. “

We used to do Woo Week in the fall and ‘In His Image’ week in the spring,” Hubbert said.

The events for upcoming semesters have not been announced yet.

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