According to a story in today’s Las Vegas Review Journal, several UNLV academic programs including the Women’s Studies program, could get eliminated due to drastic budget cuts. In the same story, university president Neal Smatresk said he fears this is not the last time he will be facing such cuts. Other programs on the list include Management Information Systems, Marriage and Family Therapy and Educational Leadership.
This is terrible news! And what irony that it comes during Women’s History Month!
I have a minor in Women’s Studies, so I am definitely biased here. Women’s Studies offers such a rich a dynamic experience for so many college students! It was such a rewarding experience for my now-husband when he took Women’s Studies 101 back at Oregon State University, that when I started school at the University of Oregon a couple years later he insisted I sign up for the same course in my first trimester. It is such an eye-opening course of study for so many people! I was already a feminist when I went to college, but Women’s Studies gave me the context, the history and the language to fully articulate my thoughts and actions.
And it offers a valuable lens to view so many other areas of academic study. The very reason for Women’s Studies is that women’s contributions to academic research, literature, art, science, psychology, philosophy and other areas have been marginalized! It is because the larger discourse has not yet caught up to parity and equality in all facets of our society that we need Women’s Studies.
There will be a powerful silence without it.