In a step toward increased inclusivity, the Lehigh Women’s Center changed its name to the Center for Gender Equity this year. The center provides a space for all students to engage in discussion, learning and activism regarding gender issues.
The change in name was prompted by efforts from the center to advocate for more neutral engagement among the genders represented at Lehigh.
The CGE staff looks to focus on inclusive relationship building in which differences are acknowledged and perceived as creative potential. The CGE is making strides toward identifying gender issues in fields such as STEM and engaging male members in topics such as masculinity.
The CGE uses issues to catalyze dialogue rather than debate and emphasizes both components of conversation: listening and expression.
Above all, the members of the center are not tied to any positional structure that uses authority as a unit of measure. Instead, the CGE encourages all students to find their voices through collaboration.
Rita Jones, the director of the CGE, said she recognizes the issues at hand are timely matters, given the divisive state of the world. Jones also thinks the passion and eagerness on Lehigh’s campus should be fueled through discussion.
Moving forward, the CGE’s goals will evolve in order to meet the changing needs of the world and the campus, and they will be shaped by the efforts of those who are a part of it.
The CGE members hope the discussion of gender issues will raise awareness for the center and give the issues more exposure.