10/28/2016 On Wednesday October 26, 2016 IAS’s newest degree was launched and celebrated. The event was held on the top floor of the ARC and began at 11:30am with a meet-and-greet where attendees met student activists, learned about campus resources that will support their Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) extra-curricular activities, like the Office of Undergraduate Research, and browsed the UWB Bookstore’s GWSS themed book exhibit. Attendees were treated to an inspirational keynote speech by Victoria Santos, Co-director of Young Women Empowered and Co-director of the Sister Island Project. Victoria’s speech was followed by faculty lightning talks where the audience learned about the research and teaching expertise of nine GWSS faculty in less than 45 minutes! There was also a screening of the film “A Girl in the River,” and a discussion about the elections focusing on the ways the misogyny and hate speech which have saturated this electoral season have led to feminist push back, and as IAS faculty member Kari Lerum explained, “push forward.” Student researchers had their work on display throughout the day via a poster session and there were concurrent zine and button making workshops. Additionally, UWB’s Gender Equity Club created a powerful memorial and shared individual white carnations with attendees in order to commemorate and honor survivors and victims of intimate partner violence. GWSS faculty were thrilled that the Parent Union created an onsite space for supervised child care which allowed parents to attend the event knowing their kids were in safe and loving hands. The heaviness of the day’s conversations and content were counter-balanced with delicious direct trade chocolate shaped and painted as gender queer flags and books. The event ended on a highly celebratory note, with cake! “I was absolutely thrilled with the event,” says GWSS faculty coordinator Julie Shayne. She continues, “I heard nothing but positive feedback from attendees throughout the day, many of whom stayed from beginning to end. The mood in the room was completely energizing and has since spilled over into campus classrooms, hallways, and facebook!” You can see photos of the event in GWSS’s facebook photo album here. For questions on how to declare the major or minor please contact the IAS advisors at IASadv@uw.edu. Congratulations GWSS faculty, students, and staff!