Last week, there were meetings, performances and even a protest, all geared at the same goal: creating a women’s studies major at Kent State. And it is truly time that this university’s administration pays attention.
Kent State has the Feminist Union and a women’s studies minor, so logically the next step would be to have a women’s studies major. Kent State is already falling behind the times when it comes to pursuing women’s education.
Currently, The Ohio State University, Miami University, Case Western Reserve University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Cincinnati, as well as a few more Ohio colleges, offer both women’s studies majors and minors. As Kent State’s enrollment continues to decline, every little bit that can be done to keep students here can help. Students are leaving Kent State because this school cannot fulfill its students’ academic needs, especially when it comes to women’s studies.
Next fall, enrollment is expected to drop by 3 percent, which could lead to a loss of more than $12 million. If this university is to compare to the other schools in the state and keep attracting students, a women’s studies major could appeal to a key demographic.
By creating this new major, it would also help to expand the women’s studies minor. More classes would be offered in this area of study, making it more accessible for students to get involved with the program. Right now, the majority of the classes in the women’s studies minor are offered only in fall or only in spring. This makes it hard for students to meet the requirement to actually achieve the minor.
As the faculty senate approves a general studies major, it’s easy to wonder where exactly the university stands on getting a real education. College is supposed to be about learning different viewpoints and understanding new ways of thinking, but that isn’t the message Kent State is sending to the academic community. What kind of jobs will students with general studies degrees get after graduation?
However, on the other side of things, a student with a women’s studies degree would be placed in the workplace with organizations aimed at bettering the lives of females.
This university was once a symbol of activism, and a crucial voice is being lost by not giving students the opportunity to major in women’s studies. Any time a university allows students to explore a minority opinion, everyone benefits. Not only should Kent State work to create this major, but this school should have offered one a long time ago.
This major would not just be about opening up different opinions for discussion, it would help students find jobs after college and help Kent State keep enrollment where it should be.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.