Kent Student Center Programming looks for panelists

Stephanie Martoccia

The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) will be holding another Student Voices panel discussion titled, “Not Your Mother’s Feminism: Understanding the Diversity of Feminist Perspectives,” on March 15 at 8 p.m. in the KIVA.

Student Voices is a Kent Student Center Programming (KSCP) initiative through CSI that intends to create a dialogue on several diversity issues students face. Currently, they are looking for students to participate in the event. Panelist do not have to be women.

Last semester, CSI kicked off Student Voices with an event called “Stereotype Debunking.” During the panel discussion, students of different ethnic and sexual backgrounds spoke about stereotypes and diversity issues varying from same-sex relationships to white privilege.

In honor of Women’s History Month, this semester’s event will focus on Feminism.

“This event is going to be an introduction to feminism free of the big words and baggage that often comes with conversations about gender equality,” said John Hess, student programmer for CSI.

The goal is to discuss the state of women’s rights in various aspects on and off campus, Hess said. “We can then talk about where are we at, what still needs to be accomplished and how we can go about building a (sense of) feminism that is for everybody at Kent State.”

“We want to enlighten students, but in a fun interactive way,” student manager of KSCP John Camargo said. The Stereotype Debunking event included a multimedia presentation on stereotypes about millennials and performances from students varying from dance to spoken word.

Camargo, along with KSC programmer Bethany Sevek, said topics will include body shaming, gender inequality in the workplace, the male gaze, feminism in different cultures and feminism issues in pop-culture.

“Administration thinks they know how we want to talk about things, how we should talk about it and where to draw the line at,” Camargo said. “There’s nothing wrong with that, they’re doing what they have studied, but our generation really doesn’t care about the limits.”

When it comes to social issues such as feminism, people don’t feel comfortable talking about them. He describes talking about feminism as addressing the “elephant in the room”

“We have to talk about the elephant in the room,” Camargo said. “That’s where Student Voices comes in to talk about things that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, that they’re uncomfortable with.”

The event is being planned by students with the exception of Casey Boyd-Swan, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, who will moderate the event.

There will be on-campus resources such as Green Dot and the Women’s Center available for students during the event.

If you are interested in being part of the discussion, email John Camargo at  [email protected] before March 5 to apply.