Virtual Guest Speaks to Grier Students about Gender Equity in Higher Ed
Tuesday, a graduate student Shannon DeHoff from Penn State University joined Grier via Skype video chat to describe her work with the University Park campus’s Gender Equity Center. Librarian Mrs. Woolfrey arranged for this presentation in conjunction with the schoolwide read I Am Malala by equal education activist Malala Yousafzai. The presenter addressed the biggest obstacles to higher education access for women in the United States today. Among the students who attended the program, many were members of the Grier Bridge club, which seeks to promote the welfare of girls and women worldwide. The Grier students in attendance engaged with the speaker, asking questions about her role and the challenges facing women on college campuses. After the presentation concluded, the students continued to discuss how they might apply some of the Gender Equity Center’s advocacy and education strategies to prepare Grier students for college life.
DeHoff described the PSU’s Gender Equity Center’s mission and its efforts to promote respect and gender equality. A large part of the center’s efforts are aimed at equipping Freshman students with information about sexual assault prevention, collaborating with the Greek community to reduce dating violence and sexual assault, and training bystanders how to respond to a situation by referencing the “three Ds”: Direct, Distract, and Defer. To broaden its influence, the GenEq center partners with other PSU campus organizations that support specific student populations, such as International students and LGBTQ students, as well as, community organizations like Centre Safe. While big changes to campus culture can be slow to realize, members of the center see their positive contributions immediately when individuals thank them for their services, safe spaces, and education.