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Clothesline Project promotes awareness

 Last week, students on campus were able to experience the Clothesline Project, by VSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. The Clothesline Project is a display of t-shirts designed by students and local residents to create the awareness of sexual violence towards women and young girls. This is only one of the many programs that the Women’s and Gender Studies Department has to enlighten students about issues that are close to home.
 The WGST program is for majors and non-majors who are interested in  the study of women and of gender as a social construction. The program also examines class, race, age, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation and identity to learn more about society and promotes women’s issues and other factors of social inequality.
 “I think students have a misperception of what feminism entails and what our program offers.  We help educate students about socially defined construction of women and men.  We work very hard to educate students and the campus community about the prevailing unjust conditions under
which women live—and we advocate that these unjust conditions must be
changed,” said the Director of WGST, Dr. Tracy Woodard-Meyers.
The WGST was formerly called Women’s Studies Program and was later changed in July 2007. The name change was important because the program didn’t only focus on women, but also on the education of men, the differences in femininity and masculinity, the analysis of sexuality, and lesbian, gay, intersexual, and transgender studies.
 Some other programs that WGST has planned are Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month, The Handprint Project, The Purple Ribbon Campaign, and the popular VSU-V Day: “The Vagina Monologues.”
  A  new program is called The Sexual Violence Education and Prevention Program. This program is important to this campus along with all other campuses in the country, helping students learn more about sexual violence and how to prevent attacks on campus and off campus. The program also helps reduce sexual violence and attempts to encourage men to act as allies in preventing the violence, and encourage safe and responsible sexual relationships between couples.
 Along with the new program is a new look to the website at http://www.valdosta.edu/womenstudies/index.shtml where students can look at all details and learn about the WGST, and their programs.
  Dr. Meyers hopes that more students become more aware of the program.
  “I hope that all students are aware of the WGST program and what we have to offer–I also hope that through our projects throughout the year, students will become familiar with issues that women and men in our country have to endure,”  Dr. Meyers said.

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