We started the year with a Meet and Treat Mixer for our students, which turned out to be a great success! The students who came by had the opportunity to snack on some goodies, stock up on some feminist stickers, learn a bit about the color symbolism of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, snap some great pics at our photo ops, and chat with Dr. Caldwell-Ryan about the program. We hope everyone felt a warm welcome from WGST and enjoyed the warm cookies they got to take home!
We held our first ever Movie Night in October, celebrating the spooky season with a screening of the film It Follows. We had a great turnout from our students who snacked on popcorn and candy as they watched the film, and then everyone was treated to a discussion of gender and sexuality in horror films led by Tiffany Vollmer, the President of Women in Film Dallas. The conversation was as thought-provoking as it was entertaining, and we plan to continue inviting Women in Film Dallas representatives to act as guest speakers in the future.
This semester WGST made an effort to provide our students with opportunities to engage with those in need in Dallas. We held two donations drives—benefiting Children’s Health Hospitals and Genesis Women’s Shelter—and we informed our students of in-person volunteer opportunities for The Oak Cliff Thanksgiving Food Drive. Community engagement is important to our minors and our department, and we were glad to have several options to support Dallasites this semester.
We started our new Virtual Health Seminar Series with a presentation by Kelly Hart, Senior Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. “SB8: What Does it Mean for Reproductive Health” was a major success, with attendees from multiple departments getting to listen to and engage in a Q&A with Kelly Hart. Based on the attendance of 50 students, it is clear that conversations about health are important to our student community.
To help with the stress of finals, we held a Mindfulness Seminar led by Licensed Professional Counselor Raychel Yearsley the last week of November. Students learned a range of mindfulness techniques, were able to discuss some ways to combat anxiety, and even got to enjoy doing some yoga in their chairs! The students said the seminar really helped them feel less anxious during this stressful time, and we hope they can use what they learned to help them go into their finals feeling calm and confident!