Women’s Studies closing rumor false

Julia Sprowls

A recent rumor about the Women’s Studies program at Kent State closing has turned out to be false, Suzanne Holt, director of Women’s Studies and arts and sciences lecturer, said. Current and recent graduate students, alarmed by the news, voiced their concerns to Holt and expressed hope that the program would continue and grow.

Despite the rumors, Holt has been reassured that her program is going to be given a good chance to pick itself up and move on into the future.

“I think whenever you’re a part of a small program, especially Women’s Studies, if you’re not a financially lucrative element in the university, there’s always a sense you could just ‘poof,’ disappear,” Holt said about the rumors.

James Blank, the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said he had not heard the rumor. On the contrary, Blank said the program is administratively moving to a new center with intentions of the program growing.

“Rather than Women’s Studies being terminated per the groundless rumor, the program is undergoing an administrative move in the college which will provide opportunity for the further development of Women’s Studies, as well as other viable multidisciplinary programs of study,”  David Odell-Scott, the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said. This move is to take place this semester and launch in Fall 2014.

Kristin Ward, a 2012 Kent State alumna, said she would not have gone to Kent if they did not offer a Women’s Studies program.

“I entered that Women’s Studies program and left that program with ten thousand revelations. Those were the classes that were the most enriching for me and offered opportunities not just to learn but to grow as a person,” Ward said.

Currently, Women’s Studies is only a minor at Kent State despite efforts made over the years to create a Women’s Studies major. Holt said she is hopeful for the future of a Women’s Studies major because Kent State’s new president, Beverly Warren, is coming from a school with a minor, major and graduate study in Women’s Studies.

“If the program were ended, I would be ashamed to have given them my money, embarrassed to call myself an alum,” Ward said.

“I’m convinced that there are people that care, and if there’s that critical mass that care, it has more than a fighting chance,” Holt said. “There’s so many things that can happen with comparatively little effort if you get the right things in place, so that’s what we’re hoping for.”

For more information visit the Women’s Studies homepage.

Contact Julia Sprowls at [email protected].