From: Tess Benser
Date: February 11, 2022
Subject: Center For Women & Gender Equity February 2022 Newsletter



Center for Women & Gender Equity in purple and gold text.


Dear Golden Rams, 

Welcome back to campus! We hope the transition back to in-person learning is going smoothly for all of you. 

If this is your first time joining us, welcome! If you're a veteran subscriber to our newsletter, welcome back! As we gather together in person again this semester, it's important for us at the Center for Women & Gender Equity to share a road map for what you can expect in this newsletter.

In the following newsletter and newsletters to come, you can expect to find content that celebrates the accomplishments of WCU students, practical skill building tips for preventing and mitigating harm through bystander intervention, inclusive and evidence-based sex education materials, tools to aid in advocacy work, and, of course, all of the upcoming programs and events that the Center for Women & Gender Equity and our campus and community partners will be offering.

Our space is dedicated to facilitating the exploration of gender identities and their relationship to other categories and experiences of social difference. Our hope for this newsletter is to provide meaningful strategies for developing healthy and fulfilling friendships, relationships, and connections to others, in ways that maintain a campus environment that is safe and respectful for every member of our community.

We encourage active engagement from all of our readers and partners across campus. Is there content you would like to see in future newsletters? Please feel free to contact Tess Benser (tbenser@wcupa.edu) with your suggestions.

If at any time you find that this monthly communication is not meeting your needs, or is simply not something you wish to see in your inbox, please feel free to click the unsubscribe option at the bottom of this email. In our work at the Center for Women & Gender Equity, establishing and honoring boundaries is paramount. We hope you will feel encouraged to assert your own boundaries about the emails you receive and the content you engage with.

We are very very excited to be bringing you our February edition of the CW&GE newsletter, with content created by our team of peer educators.This edition also has features on navigating sex in dorms and shared living spaces, on being respectful toward service workers in these challenging times, and a piece debunking myths and shedding light on human trafficking. We also have some exciting announcements about some upcoming events, particularly those in February for Black History Month, March for Women's History Month, and April for Sexual Assault Awarenss Month. We look forward to connecting with you all at these events!

But wait, there's more! If you are a student who is seeking an on-campus job for the 2022-2023 academic year, the Center for Women & Gender Equity is seeking a graduate assistant and peer educators. Applications for our Graduate Assistant are open now and close on February 20ths, and we will be opening applications for our Peer Educator positions the last week of February. Details about these open positions can be found on Handshake or on our social media pages. 

We are located in Lawrence 214 and hope you will stop by! You can also feel free to call the Center at 610.436.2135, email the department account at cwge@wcupa, or follow us on Instagram @wcu_cwge or like us on Facebook @wcuCWGE.  

Wishing you a healthy spring semester! 

Tess Benser
Assistant Director of Outreach & Engagement


 

yellow upcoming events graphic

EVENT

Working Toward Justice Through Body-Map Storytelling

Tuesday, February 15
6:00pm - 7:30pm
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The process of sharing stories helps people recognize themselves and others in an empowerment process. Join us for a body map storytelling workshop as a space to share, honor and uplift. The use of body-map storytelling serves as a means to hold space for the impact of harmful experiences through active participation and mapping of individual bodies and the surrounding communities with the goal of imagining a more just world. No artistic or mapmaking experience needed. This workshop will be facilitated by noted scholar Dr. Elizabeth L Sweet and will be trauma-informed and center the experience of those impacted by harm. Pre-registration is requested via RamConnect. Enrolled participants will be provided a free art kit to support participation in this experience. Brought to you by WCU It's On Us, The Center for Women & Gender Equity, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion & The Counseling Center. This workshop is funded by a 2021 It's On Us PA Grant. For more information, contact the Center for Women & Gender Equity via e-mail (cwge@wcupa.edu).

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EVENT

Black History Month 2022 Speaker- Be’s in the Trap: Migrating sound and culture, disrupting respectability and gender with Trap music with Dr. Kaia Shivers

Wednesday, February 16
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Zoom link
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Dr. Kaia Shivers is a writer and media studies scholar working in Liberal Studies at New York University. She describes her work in three words—academia, artistry and activism—because these aspects of her life often intertwine. Dr. Shivers joins the Dowdy Multicultural Center as the 2022 Black History Month Cultural Month Speaker. Dr. Shivers’ research focuses on African religious traditions, black representations in media and the African diaspora.

In this important community conversation, she offers a critical examination of the role of TRAP music in disrupting conceptions of respectability and gender. We hope you will join the conversation.

For more information, contact multicultural@wcupa.edu. Sponsored by the Dowdy Multicultural Center, Center for Women & Gender Equity, and the 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series.

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EVENT

Student Parent Support Space

Saturday, February 19
1:00pm - 2:30pm
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Join the Center for Women & Gender Equity and the WCUPA Counseling Center as we hold space for student parents to connect, build relationships, learn about resources and inform future efforts to support their success at WCU.

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EVENT

EqualiTea Speaker Series- The Affirmation Queen: Resisting Their Expectations of the Black Woman in the Academy; A Conversation with Dr. Tiffany Lane

Monday, February 21
3:00pm - 4:00pm
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Members of the WCU community are invited to explore gender justice issues, navigate pathways to success, and build community. EqualiTea Speaker Series sessions are organized thematically for the year. The theme for 2021-2022 is Gender and Jobs. In this session, Dr. Lane will share findings from their research about the experiences of Black women navigating employment in higher education. For more info, e-mail cwge@wcupa.edu. Pre-registration is requested via RamConnect. For more information contact cwge@wcupa.edu. Sponsored by the Center for Women & Gender Equity, Dowdy Multicultural Center and the 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series.

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EVENT

Human Trafficking Awareness and Education

Monday, February 28
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Sykes Student Union, Ballroom A, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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Some of our Center for Women and Gender Equity peer educators will lead a discussion raising awareness and increasing education surrounding human trafficking. We will be discussing a wide range of topics including the effects of the pandemic, common misconceptions, the role of globalization, and holistic approaches to support for survivors.
Trigger Warning: Mentions of abuse and violence.

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EVENT

EqualiTea Speaker Series-Women & Technology Careers featuring Dr. Kristin Austin

Wednesday, March 2
3:00pm - 4:00pm
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Men and women's enrollment in introductory computer sciences courses is mostly equal. However, at the end of that first course, women's enrollment in subsequent courses drops by more than 86%! And guess what? This drop-off is not due to grades! Why are men persisting in technology courses and majors and women are not? Spoiler alert: lack of representation; misogyny; microaggressions; and imposter syndrome. Let's discuss!

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EVENT

CW&GE Book Club

Monday, March 7
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Main Hall 2nd Floor English Lounge, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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Join Center for Women & Gender Equity peer educators for a weekly book club, featuring Chloe Gong's These Violent Delights.

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EVENT

Sexy Bingo

Tuesday, March 8
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Sykes Student Union, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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This is not your grandparents’ bingo! Join the Center for Women & Gender Equity for a fun bingo game to grow your sexuality education and celebrate International Women’s Day! Engage in conversations about sexuality and learn about safer sex practices, sexual anatomy, sexual behavior and preference, and pleasure. Winners will be given prizes. Registration is not required but encouraged!

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EVENT

EqualiTea Speaker Series- A PhD Is Not Enough featuring Dr. Chandra Chomicki

Wednesday, March 23
3:00pm - 4:00pm
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Members of the WCU community are invited to explore gender justice issues, navigate pathways to success, and build community. EqualiTea Speaker Series sessions are organized thematically for the year. The theme for 2021-2022 is Gender and Jobs. In this session, Dr. Chomicki will share insights and recommendations about developing a career path during massive disruptions such as economic crisis and a global pandemic. For more info, e-mail cwge@wcupa.edu. Pre-registration is requested via RamConnect. For more information contact cwge@wcupa.edu. Sponsored by the Center for Women & Gender Equity and the 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series.

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EVENT

2022 Gender Justice Conference

Wednesday, March 30
10:00am - 6:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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The Center for Women & Gender Equity would like to invite you attend the Second Annual Gender Justice Conference to be held on March 30th, 2022. We intentionally plan to host this conference at the end of Women’s History Month and just before the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the hopes of unifying our office’s goals of addressing gender-based oppression and centering joy and liberation for all.

In 2021, the First Annual Gender Justice Conference was thematically organized around the groundbreaking research published in Sexual Citizens by Dr. Jennifer S. Hirsch and Dr. Shamus Khan, which examined the ways that identity and power influenced the sexual lives and vulnerabilities to harm of college students. This year we will build on the learning we embarked on with last year’s conference and continued into the fall semester with our It’s On Us Speaks event with Sonalee Rashatwar (they/he), whose talk spoke to the connection between diet culture and rape culture, and how this is itself rooted in anti-black racism and white supremacy. Our hope for the 2022 conference is to continue to examine the ways that all oppressions are intrinsically linked, and work to co-create an environment where transformative justice is possible, where everyone’s safety is secured, and where everyone finds a space of connection and belonging.

The conference will be held March 30th from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Additional information can be found @wcu_cwge on Instagram.

Sponsored by various campus partners, Center for Women & Gender Equity, 2021 It's On Us PA Grant and the 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series.

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EVENT

Second Annual Gender Justice Conference Keynote Speaker: Ericka Hart

Wednesday, March 30
6:00pm - 8:00pm
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Ericka Hart, M.Ed., pronouns: she/they, is a black queer femme activist, writer, highly acclaimed speaker and award-winning sexuality educator with a Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University. Her work broke ground when she went topless showing her double mastectomy scars in public in 2016. Since then, she has been in demand at colleges and universities across the country, featured in countless digital and print publications including Buzzfeed, Washington Post, Allure, Huffington Post, BBC News, Cosmopolitan, LA Weekly, Vanity Fair, W Magazine, Glamour, Elle, Essence, Fader, Refinery 29, and is the face of three running PSAs on the television channel VICELAND. Ericka’s voice is rooted in leading edge thought around human sexual expression as inextricable to overall human health and its intersections with race, gender, chronic illness and disability. Both radical and relatable, she continues to push well beyond the threshold of sex positivity. Ericka co-hosts Hoodrat to Headwrap: A Decolonized Podcast and misses Whitney more than you.

Time: To Be Announced

Sponsored by various campus partners, Center for Women & Gender Equity, 2021 It's On Us PA Grant and the 150th Anniversary Diversity Speaker Series.

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EVENT

The Clothesline Project Display

Wednesday, April 13
10:00am - 3:00pm
Academic Quad (Rain location: Sykes Ballroom), 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
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Stand in solidarity with survivors of interpersonal violence (sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking). This living arts display was created by members of our community impacted by interpersonal violence since the 1990’s. Walk through the display and/or leave a message to honor and support survivors and their loved ones. For more information or to get involved contact cwge@wcupa.edu. Sponsored by the Center for Women & Gender Equity.

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EVENT

Take Back the Night

Thursday, April 21
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Starting at the Rammy Statue, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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Save the Date! Take Back the Night 2022 will be the evening of Thursday, April 21st. Support those who experienced harm, learn about resources, and contribute to a safer campus for all of us. More info to come!

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EVENT

Queer Basics Training

Friday, February 11
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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Join us in Sykes Student Union Room 254 on Friday, February 11th from 1-2pm for our Queer Basics Training!

Do you need a quick brush up on what the L, G, B & T mean? And what about the Q? This one-hour training explores trans and queer identities and communities and provides an intro to advocacy. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu, or 610-436-3147.

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EVENT

Movie Night with DMC

Monday, February 14
1:00pm - 1:00pm
Sykes 210, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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The Dowdy Multicultural Center Peer Mentoring Program Presents
Movie Night
Week 4: Monday, February 14
(4pm-6pm) Sykes 210
Join us for a movie and treats. Join us to find out the movie.
All are welcome! No need to be a part of the program.

Questions? Email multicultural@wcupa.edu

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EVENT

Ram I Am: Queer Media from the Margins

Tuesday, February 15
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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Representation matters! This one-hour guided discussion will provide participants with an opportunity to explore the limits of trans and queer presence within mainstream media. Participants will discuss LGBTQIA+ representation in media such as movies, television, comics, video games, cosplay as well as social media. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu, or 610-436-3147.

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EVENT

Black History Month Social Justice Education Conversation Series

Tuesday, February 15
1:00pm - 2:00pm
DMC Sykes 003 , 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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Join us in conversation about how Art and Expression, Black Cowboys in America, and Black Women in History impact Black communities.

Tuesday, February 8 @ 1:00pm-2:00pm in DMC (Sykes 003)
Topic: Art and Expression
Tuesday, February 15 @ 1:00pm-2:00pm in DMC (Sykes 003)
Topic: Black Cowboys in America
Tuesday, February 22 @ 1:00pm-2:00pm in DMC (Sykes 003)
Topic: Black Women in History

No need to RSVP.

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EVENT

Co-Curriculars with College Students: Student Involvement Panel

Tuesday, February 15
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Sykes Room 209, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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Co-Curriculars with College Students: Student Involvement Panel
Tuesday, February 15 | 5pm-6pm | Sykes Room 209
Join us to hear from a panel of heavily involved students about maintaining the balance between class work and co-curricular activities.
For questions email multicutlural@wcupa.edu
No need to RSVP.

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EVENT

Tight Knit

Wednesday, February 16
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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We're starting a pattern. Join us weekly for Tight Knit, a queer crafting group. Bring your current knitting, crochet, embroidery, or other craft project to Sykes 250 on Wednesdays from 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm.

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EVENT

Trans and Queer Mixer

Thursday, February 17
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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We invite you to join us for a party/social gathering for trans and queer students! This is a chance to get to know and form some connection with other LGBTQIA+ students from around campus. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu, or 610-436-3147.

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EVENT

Resource Tour

Thursday, February 17
12:30pm - 2:00pm
Dowdy Multicultural Center (Sykes Room 003), 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
Link
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The Dowdy Multicultural Center Peer Mentoring Program Presents...

Resource Tour

Thursday, February 17 | 12:30pm-2pm | DMC

Join us as we welcome the spring semester with a campus tour to some of our resources! Snacks will be provided. All are welcome to participate. No need to be a part of the program.

Questions? Email multicultural@wcupa.edu

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EVENT

Gender Fluidity and Radical Self-Compassion: A Conversation with Jeffrey Marsh

Wednesday, February 23
6:00pm - 7:15pm
Zoom link
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The Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy will be joined by Tik Tok and Instagram LGBTQ star, Jeffrey Marsh. Jeffrey is one of the world's foremost commentators on nonbinary identity and activism in America, with a message of positivity and inclusion and a deep knowledge of queer issues and history. Jeffrey has reported on LGBTQ topics for TIME, Variety, Dutch National News channel RTL-TV, NewsmaxTV and the BBC. As an author, Jeffrey was the first prominent public figure to use, and advocate the use of, they/them pronouns for trans and gender non-conforming people. Jeffrey Marsh’s spiritual and inclusive messages have received over 1 billion views on social media. Jeffrey will talk about the beautifulness of being nonbinary, the fluidity of gender, and how one can radically accept oneself. This event is co-sponsored by the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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EVENT

Brothers of Excellence Conference 2022

Saturday, February 26
9:00am - 4:30pm
Sykes Student Union, 700 S High St, West Chester, PA 19382, United States
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Conference Mission
The Brothers of Excellence Conference will provide college Men of Color with the knowledge and community connections to:
-Identify a social issue that impacts Men of Color.
-Explore their civic leadership roles in connection with their multiple identities.
-Recognize resources and individuals to create a sense of community of support on campus.

*Men of Color includes men who identify as Asian American, Black or African American, Desi American, Indigenous, Latinx, Mixed heritage, Native American, and Pacific Islander

Theme: Strength, Power, and Brotherhood
This year's 6th Annual Brothers of Excellence Conference, “Strength, Power and Brotherhood” will focus on the importance of unity amongst the community of Men of Color.

For this year's theme, the conference will embrace these concepts:
It's about strength, it's about power
We stay together, we don't turn our back against one another
Put in the work, put in the time, use your mind
Education, affirmation, if you want to bring attention
Reach out it's not a burden
For questions contact multicultural@wcupa.edu

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EVENT

Ram I Am: Being Queer in Fandom Spaces

Tuesday, March 1
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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Join CTQA for a discussion about the intersection between queerness and fandom spaces. Attendees will engage in a discussion about how queer people interact with fandom, and how they use fandom as means of expression. There will also be discussions of how some media and fanworks exploit queer people. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu, or 610-436-3147.

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EVENT

LGBTQ+ Competence in Social Work

Tuesday, March 1
7:00pm - 8:30pm
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What does LGBTQ+ competency look like in the social work field, and in all helping professions beyond? How can we help create a world that provides inclusivity, equity, and justice for queer populations?

All WCU students, staff, and faculty are invited to join us for a collaborative event between the Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy and the Chi Gamma chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society. This virtual panel will be held on Zoom on Tuesday, March 1st, at 7:00 pm.

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EVENT

Queering the Conversation: Gender & Sexuality in Schubert's Erlkonig

Thursday, March 3
11:00am - 12:00pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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In the Queering the Conversation series, we invite guest scholars and community activists from a variety of disciplines to join us to share their expertise on specific topics related to the LGBTQ community.

Synopsis: In the 1990s, several prominent music historians took an interest in studying music with consideration to gender & sexuality. One famous example is that of musicologist Christopher Gibbs’ argument that composer Franz Schubert’s 1816 song Erlko╠ênig is a reference to homosexuality. Though there is a great deal of evidence that supports this claim, my research offers a new interpretation of the piece – one that considers 19th-century gender roles instead of sexuality. This lecture will demonstrate that the problematic conflation of gender and sexuality is not a new phenomenon and in fact permeates the arts across time. Together, we will listen to the song, discuss both interpretations, and the audience will be able to decide for themselves which interpretation they believe to be true.

Bio: Steven Feldman (he/they) works as the Associate Director of the Center for Trans & Queer Advocacy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. They currently hold a B.A. in Music and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in Music History & Theory from Stony Brook University, and an M.A. in Higher Education & Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. Steven’s musical research interests primarily include examining gender and sexuality in German art songs and English ayres. Prior to coming to WCU, Steven has worked in undergraduate admissions, academic advising, and LGBTQIA+ services. They have presented research locally and nationally on social justice topics and have been published in the Educational Review, ACUI Bulletin, and NASPA Blog. They also have articles forthcoming in the Eastman Case Studies and Journal of Student Affairs. Outside of their work in higher education, Steven enjoys iced coffees from Dunkin’, performing and listening to music, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

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EVENT

Ram I Am: Queer in Grad School Panel

Friday, March 4
1:00pm - 2:30pm
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Our panel will consist of three queer grad students at WCU from Masters programs in Social Work, Geography, and Music Composition. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about what it's like to be a queer grad student at WCU. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu, or 610-436-3147.

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EVENT

Trans Advocacy Training

Wednesday, March 9
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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Join us in Sykes Student Union Room 254 on Wednesday, March 9th from 3:30-4:30pm for our Trans Advocacy Training!

Trans, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer… what exactly does it all mean? This one-hour training will review terminology, problematic language, WCU policies, and qualities of an advocate as it relates to the transgender and non-binary communities and experiences. Participants will also discuss how society interacts with trans folks and what you can do to strengthen your advocacy. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu or 610-436-3147.

This event is part of the Ram Plan Co-curricular Experience. Students who fill out the post-assessment after attending the program will have this event added to their co-curricular transcript. For more information about the Ram Plan, visit https://www.wcupa.edu/_services/STU/coCurricularPlanning/.

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EVENT

Queering the Conversation: The Future of Queer & Trans Spaces

Wednesday, March 23
2:00pm - 3:00pm
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In the Queering the Conversation series, we invite guest scholars and community activists from a variety of disciplines to join us to share their expertise on specific topics related to the LGBTQ community.

Synopsis: From coded language to open displays of pride, from private gatherings to open group chats, the ways in which queer and trans people have found each other and formed communities have adapted with each new generation. Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents and young adults have increasingly turned to digital spaces to develop their identities and connect with those who share their experiences. This lecture will examine the ways in which adolescents and young adults are creating the future of queer and trans communal spaces, both digital and physical. Audience members will gain a greater understanding of the ways in which technology, necessity, and innovation are shaping the ways in which queer and trans youth connect.

Bio: Em Evans (she/they) is the current graduate assistant at West Chester University’s Center for Trans and Queer Advocacy and intern at the Adolescent Initiative at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After receiving their associate degree from Delaware County Community College, they completed their bachelor’s degree in social work at West Chester University. They are expected to obtain their MSW from West Chester University this spring. They have presented locally on the unique experiences of adolescents who occupy marginalized identities and the evolving culture within the LGBTQ+ community.

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EVENT

Making Waves: A Conversation with Schuyler Bailar

Tuesday, March 29
6:00pm - 7:15pm
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Schuyler Bailar discusses his experiences being recruited by Harvard and swimming as the first transgender NCAA D1 men’s athlete in any sport. He explores the universal tensions of trying to "fit-in" in our media-saturated, caricature-driven culture while trying to live one's authentic self. Having lived on the margin (woman, Korean American, Gay, Trans) and now often perceived as a privileged elite ("Harvard white guy") Schuyler’s inspiring story is filled with unique and insightful perspectives. Schuyler will engage the group in an energetic conversation in topics ranging from his personal journey coming out trans as a D1 athlete, finding joy in being your best you; the spectrum of masculinity; competing at elite levels as an LGBTQ athlete; empowering youth through social emotional learning; the role of disordered eating, self-harm and therapy in his journey; and activism in our current political landscape. This event is co-sponsored by the Athletics department.

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EVENT

Queer Paint and Snacks

Thursday, April 14
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Private Location (register to display)
Link
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We hope you will join us for Queer Paint and Snacks, an open creative space for LGBTQIA+ students to express themselves and make whatever art they want while enjoying some snacks and good company. For more information, check out our Ram Connect, ramconnect.wcupa.edu/CTQA, or contact us at transandqueer@wcupa.edu, or 610-436-3147.

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Events

Tuesday, February 15
Start End   Event         Location
6:30pm 7:30pm Explore Leadership Series-Community Resources Commonwealth MPR/Multipurpose Room
Wednesday, February 16
12:00pm 1:00pm OCCA General Assembly Meeting: Be Your OWN Valentine! Sykes Student Union, Room 10A
12:00pm 1:00pm Sustainability Practice and Research Seminar 255 A/B Skyes Student Union
12:30pm 1:30pm Explore Leadership Series-Community Resources Online Event
1:00pm 2:00pm Wellness Wednesday- Giving Gratitude Lawrence Lobby
2:00pm 5:00pm Public Service Career & Volunteer Fair Sykes Ballrooms
Thursday, February 17
9:30am 10:30am Off Campus Life: Real Scenarios Online Event
Sunday, February 20
1:00pm 4:00pm Emerging Leaders Conference Sykes Ballrooms
Monday, February 21
4:00pm 5:30pm Campus Connect 2/21/22 Private Location (register to display)
Wednesday, February 23
12:00pm 1:00pm OCCA General Assembly Meeting: Black History Month Kahoot and Scoops & Smiles Water Ice Sykes Student Union, Room 10A
2:00pm 5:00pm Job & Internship Fair Student Recreation Center
Thursday, February 24
9:30am 10:30am How to Self Advocate While Signing a Lease Online Event
1:00pm 4:00pm Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Sykes Ballrooms
Wednesday, March 2
1:00pm 2:00pm Wellness Wednesday: Sick Kit Packing TBD
Thursday, March 3
1:00pm 3:00pm Relation-Sips Saxbys
Pictured is the title reading: Sex...Dorm Style. Tips for those sharing communal spaces. The background of the photo is a bright fuchsia. Encapsulating the title on box top and bottom are borders of condoms, accompanied on the left side by an interna

Sexual Education
S E X…. Dorm Style 
Tips for Those Sharing Communal Spaces
Dana Pratt (she/her)

 In this article, we will use the word “sex” pertaining to a plethora of sexual activities. When we say “sex,” it is important we know what that we are addressing. For the purposes of this article, this will be the definition we use, taken from “Go Ask Alice” at Columbia University. We will also refer to the term “partner.” We recognize there are also a long list of similar terms that can be used that pertain to different types of relationship identities, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The definitions of partner and sex that we are using can be found below.

Activities performed by people with a diversity of gender identities and sexual orientations, with any number of partners. Under this definition, any act involving contact with the vulva, clitoris, vagina, anus, penis, or testicles between one or more consenting people for the purpose of sexual pleasure could constitute doing the deed. Genital-to-genital, mouth-to-genital, mouth-to-anal, hand-to-genital, anal-to-genital, toy-to-genital — you get the idea. This definition can also encompass phone sex, masturbation, and genital contact through clothes. In this definition, consent matters and intent matters (pelvic exams don't equal sex, for example). Additionally, with this definition, neither penetration, possibility of pregnancy, nor orgasm define sex. And there is no sex hierarchy where some practices are considered more "real" than others.”
Term: Sexual Partner(s), not only monogamous or long-term. General and not gendered


As Valentine's Day approaches, we see romance advertised more, conveniently placed lingerie ads, and TikToks about sexual tips that “everyone has to know.” Valentine's Day is all about the grand gestures, romantic ambiances and, of course, sex. Sex happens all the time, of course, but there seems to be an ominous pressure about how extravagant the sex should be on Valentine’s Day. For some, booking a hotel room with a fancy bottle of champagne is completely within their abilities, a dream for sexually active college students who engage in a rat race to find an empty dorm to have quiet, quick sex in. Even finding a safe space to masturbate can seem impossible in these housing conditions. The lack of options for college students when it comes to sexual encounters can lead to unsatisfying experiences, both for those experiencing sex, and for those around them. Paper thin dorm walls and a tight schedule to fit in sex between your roommates class isn’t the epitome of romance we often picture. Personally, I share a 15-foot dorm room with one other person, surrounded on all sides by other college students. I am also not old enough to book a hotel room-something that requires financial privilege even if you are of age. So, for those who are looking to have sex while at a university, there are lots of ways to promote safe sex practices for everyone involved. In the book Sexual Citizens: Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus, it dives deep about sex culture at universities. One practice they discuss is having a conversation with your roommates about expectations surrounding the use of the space for sex. Chapter 4, titled “What is Sex For,” discusses a student’s personal experience with this conversation. They write, ‘“... [E]arly freshman year she and her roommate had “agreed no sex [in the dorm room]... just because it would have been really hard to coordinate with three other people…’” The authors also point out that this type of conversation, while important to “interpersonal harmony,” also requires vulnerability in a conversation that you may not feel safe or comfortable having with your roommate. Your partner(s), of course, is a critical person(s) to have these conversations with also. You can ask things like, “would you be comfortable having sex in a dorm?” or “where would you be comfortable having sex?” These conversations open the door to dialogue around intimacy with those you engage in sexual activities with. Conversations about these topics allow you to learn new things about your partner(s), yourself, and allow for an even more pleasurable experience. 
Some ways to engage in safe, respectful dorm sex include: 

  1. Have an open conversation with roommates about your expectations around sex and other intimate situations. If you agree it is okay, work to find times when the dorm/apartment is empty so that you can enjoy sex without interruption, and so your roommate doesn’t feel unwelcome in their own place. 
  2. CONSENT!!!! Checking in with yourself and the person(s) you are having sex with is the 1 most vital part of this entire experience. Consent can always change, can never be assumed, and cannot be given when anyone is under the influence of substances that affects their decision-making capabilities. Consent also varies depending on the activity that you plan to engage in. While someone may have given consent to one thing, they may not have given consent for the other. This is why being receptive during sex is so important, because consent can be given or taken at any point. 
  3. Open conversation about contraceptives are indispensable when deciding to have sex (oral, anal, vaginal, or otherwise). Make sure you and your partner(s)  have the same expectations. 
  4. When engaging in dorm sex, think of options like utilizing the floor or chairs if accessible, as dorm beds are often squeaky and not equipped for the pressure that sexual activities can place on the bed frame and springs  
  5. If you want to use the bed, go for it! Sometimes moving the bed away from the wall can decrease the sound of any moving around or shaking. 

Sex shouldn’t have to become a thing of the past for those who want to engage in sexual practices in college. Masturbation can sometimes be more simple, specifically if you have a separate bedroom or private bathroom, but for those in situations with communal everything, even finding a safe space for self-pleasure can seem impossible. Adding partners into the equation adds an extra level of planning to the mix, planning that may include those outside of those engaging in the sexual activity. As college students living in dorm rooms or shared apartments, it is important to remember that you live in a community in which mutual understanding and boundary-making is impertinent to making the experience there safe and comfortable for everyone involved. With that said, there are benefits to sex (again, including masturbation) that are great for you, your partner(s), and the relationship you have with them. Sex can:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Improve Sleep
  • Improve self-esteem and body image
  • Teach you about your body, and that of your partner(s)
  • Relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension

While this article discusses ways to have safe. Helpful conversations about sex as a college student, it is indispensable to respect both your own boundaries, and the boundaries of those around you. Conversations about sex are nuanced, and can be a hard conversation to have. The connotations the space can carry can feel heavy and intimidating, so it is significant to recognize that this can be an ongoing conversation, meaning you do not need to dive in all at once. Navigate the conversation as you need, and embrace the weirdness. Hopefully some of these tips can help you to experience a safe, fun, pleasurable sex life, regardless of your college living situation.
Resources

An image with a blue background and orange text that reads, "February 2022. Advocacy in Action: Respecting Our Service Workers."

Advocacy in Action: Respecting Our Service Workers 

By Jocelyn Brown (she/her)

 

Introduction

    At the beginning of the pandemic, they were hailed as “essential workers” and national heroes. However, these very workers warned us that these were empty platitudes, and that they would not last. Almost two years in—no, the pandemic is not over yet—service workers continue to be proven right. Now, essential workers are back to being labeled as “low-skilled workers.” With the Omicron wave, and with the recent news of the CDC shortening the quarantine period to five days, which endangers employees and customers alike, the reality looks grim for service workers across the country. Companies continue to crack down on unions, and meaningful institutional change, such as a higher national minimum wage, has not been achieved. Furthermore, customers continue to put service workers at risk and treat them poorly for things out of their control, such as the supply chain issues. 

Although the former deserves its own article, for this month’s advocacy piece, I wanted to focus on the latter. Whether we like it or not, in today’s world, we all have to be consumers. College students are one of the biggest consumer groups. Although people have the preconceived notion that older people are ruder to service workers than young people, young people are not exempt from this issue. The closer we can get to ethical consumption in our interactions with service workers, the better. While many work service jobs while in college—I surveyed several of my CW&GE peer educator colleagues for this article—other college students who have never had to work a service job can look down on service workers, especially those who are not in college. One of my coworkers responded to the survey: “...Especially in college, I think people look at service industry jobs as the temporary job before they move on to something better paying or in their field of academic study. Although, for many many people it is their livelihood, such as those that don’t have any formal education or are recently out of prison.” Service workers do not owe us an explanation for why they are currently in that position. Although capitalism wants us to conveniently forget this, service workers are people, too, and they deserve basic human respect and dignity, no matter their age, education level, or path in life. 

 

For tips on how to be a good customer and affirm each other’s humanity, read below:

 
  • Remember to follow strict mask mandates and social distancing policies. 

 

As COVID cases have come in waves, many businesses and states alike have eased up on their mask mandates, re-introduced them, and eased up again. Sometimes, it can be too much to keep up with. However, it is still the best practice to check for any signs on storefronts about that location’s mask policy. If a store’s mask policy for customers is a little lax, then always be safe and mask up. Even though you may only be interacting with their employees for a second, employees are exposed to hundreds of customers a day. See this post on the most recent guidelines for types of masks and double-masking. When using any food delivery apps, remember to use no-contact pickup or wear a mask there, too.

While respecting social distancing, it is also important to remember to respect basic boundaries, as well. When I surveyed my coworkers on what customers may do that ruins their day, one person responded, “when customers grab servers’ arms or touch me in any way to get my attention.” Even if we weren’t in a pandemic, never violate another person’s space—especially a customer service employee, as they cannot physically leave that situation without being seen as rude. 

 
  • Remember the historical and social contexts behind the customer service worker-customer relationship. 

 

    Although the pandemic has worsened customers’ attitudes, it is only exposing the sheer disparity between customer and employee that has been ingrained for over a century at this point. The very first department stores in America created the atmosphere of “the customer is always right” and treating customers as guests to be served to appeal to the growing middle class. They wanted the middle class to further differentiate themselves from the working class. These notions have stuck around to the modern day; The Atlantic article, “American Shoppers are a Nightmare,” reads, “For Americans in a socially isolating culture, living under an all but broken political system, the consumer realm is the place where many people can most consistently feel as though they are asserting their agency.” This urge to assert our agency, of course, extends far beyond its retail origins. The article also notes how airline workers are receiving harassment worse than ever before and how feeling superior to the waitstaff becomes part of the full restaurant experience. 

    However, this historical power dynamic is a problem for two main reasons. First, the problem is compounded by the fact that many service workers are from historically marginalized groups. Compared to white-collar workers, service workers are disproportionately female and nonwhite. The second problem is that the divide between the working class and the middle class is not as wide as people would like it to be. In fact, in most cases, the divide is actually nonexistent. The same article writes of “the psychological trap of middle-classness, the one that service-worker deference to consumers allows people to forget temporarily: You know, deep down, that you’re not as rich or as powerful as you’ve been made to feel by the people who want something from you. Your station in life is much more similar to that of the cashier or the receptionist than to the person who signs their paychecks.” 

    The desire to assert what little agency we have in today’s system is completely understandable. However, do not let corporations and the government trick you into trying to dominate your fellow human for just a little taste of freedom. 

 
  • Remember not to demean service workers by making them go above and beyond their job description. 

 

    An interesting new trend is that some people with home security systems that film their front door are requesting their Amazon delivery drivers to fulfill certain tasks in the delivery notes. However, these aren’t normal requests one would make of any delivery driver. Instead, they are asking Amazon drivers to dance for them. Building on the previous point, it is difficult not to view this interaction like a feudal lord ordering around their court jester. A delivery company owner told VICE, “Technically if the delivery associate doesn’t follow the instructions they can get dinged on their metrics for not doing so.” While they have to fulfill these requests or face penalties, Amazon drivers also do not have the time to do so, and will similarly get dinged if they fall behind schedule. In a Twitter thread, writer Tressie McMillan Cottom mentions asking why to a few people who have done this. Their response is, “This is cute! Why wouldn’t the driver want to be cute?!” Why are we talking about delivery drivers like they are pets, now? 

    Instead, if you have the means, other people reply to the thread and describe leaving out snacks and water bottles for their delivery drivers. 

 
  • Remember not to blame service workers for circumstances outside of their control. 

 

    Right now, there is both a labor shortage and a shortage of many goods, often in a feedback loop to each other. It is important to recognize that service workers have very little power in their jobs, especially in chains and corporations. When it comes to the shortage of goods, these employees cannot control what is in and out of stock, and they often receive no explanation as to why. They also cannot control the rising prices. In some cases, service workers themselves do not even make enough to eat or shop at their place of work. An ex-Starbucks employee told Insider, “The thing that really radicalized me was that our starting wage ($9) is less than one average customer's ticket.” So, yelling at an employee about the menu will only serve to dehumanize them. 

    As for the labor shortage, many businesses are now open for fewer days or for fewer hours because of a lack of employees. Many called 2021 the year of the “Big Quit” or “Great Resignation,” at least in an American context. While many white-collar employees resigned too, people were quick to focus on the exit of essential workers. Food service workers were the largest group of resignations, and retail the next largest. People are quitting because, while customers’ attitudes have only worsened over the pandemic, again, workers’ rights have not improved. While businesses and politicians have railed against the average working class American, calling them lazy, the reality is that we still have so many job openings because businesses will not improve their packages. They treated service industries as a transition instead of a real career for so long, that those who had the means to finally moved on and found better opportunities. If that is how the market is supposed to work, then why are these politicians and businesses so upset? Openings also exist because we have lost so many lives to COVID. Although capitalism makes it seem like it, no life is easily replaceable. 

Either way, you don’t have to be. Instead of yelling at an employee when a store is about to close earlier than usual, remember the context of an entire pandemic that led up to this. 

 
  • Remember that low-wage jobs are not “low-skilled,” and certainly not “low-pressure” environments.

 

    Again, after the pandemic continued on, “essential workers” became “low-skilled” workers once more. These jobs are considered entry-level with no specialized skills to them. However, no job is actually “low-skilled.” An article from Vox reads, “When people refer to low-skill workers, the more precise term would be low-wage. There is nothing inherently unskilled about standing in a hot kitchen for hours cooking or picking countless pieces of fruit every day in the blistering heat.” The article links to a tweet from United Farm Workers with a video of a farm worker expertly picking bunches of radishes. Another such video that made the social media rounds is of a kitchen manager with over 10 years of experience filling cups of ketchup perfectly. 

The truth is that the average American has not, or does not want to, learn skills similar to these. Epicurious has a video series on their YouTube channel called, “Basic Skills Challenge.” They challenge 50 people to complete a basic kitchen skill, such as dicing an onion. Spoiler alert: most of them fail terribly, no matter the skill. So why are these jobs considered “low-skilled” again? Just because society says so, with the aim of keeping their wages much lower than what they actually deserve. In an article for the University of St. Thomas, Samuel Stensgaard writes, “Most of us were told at least once or twice in school we needed to get our act together, or we would be ‘flipping burgers’ when we were adults. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when society treats the actual burger flippers as failures, dropouts and people too stupid or lazy to be doing anything else. Even though our job can be just as stressful and difficult as other higher paying ones.”

To that point, one of my coworkers similarly answered, “I wish folks knew that the jobs start early and end late. There’s often so much that goes on behind the scenes that requires important skills and time management.” Some YouTubers have caught flack for participating in videos where they work retail or food service jobs for a day and spend the entire time making fun of the actual employees and, overall, not taking the experience seriously. On the other hand, Safiya Nygaard published a video called “I Ran A Boba Tea Shop For A Day” where she did actually work the entire day, both at the cash register and making the drinks. She spends time getting to know the employee, Megan, and how hard she works during her usual day. Nygaard’s video speaks to this point further, as she explains that Megan always arrives at the boba shop a few hours before it opens to begin preparing the teas. 

Overall, there is a lot going on in service jobs that the customer may not see. We should recognize just how hard the work is, how long their shifts actually are, and always be grateful. Although “burger-flipping” is an insult, it is a real skill, and we have to admit that we may not even be able to do the work ourselves. 

 
  • Remember to correct anyone in your life that disrespects service workers. 

 

While working on your own behavior, an active bystander also notices the behavior of others. After all, the old adage is that, if you are on a date, how they treat the waitstaff predicts how the rest of your relationship will go. If we will not tolerate such rudeness to service workers in people that we have just met, as it may speak to how they would treat us in the future, then we should not accept the same behavior from people we already know. Again, people’s minds may jump initially to older relatives, as baby boomers are stereotypically the most rude to service employees. However, we should also call out any rude behavior in our similarly-aged friends. 

If having trouble with someone who does not see the problem with their behavior, in the same article as above, Stensgaard provides a helpful line of thinking: “Here’s a very simple way of looking at it. Would you treat your co-workers like this? Friends? People on the street? If you say no, then reassess how you act toward people who work in fast food because they aren’t any different.” Although he uses his experience as a fast food worker, this principle rings true for everyone. 

 

Conclusion

Those were six quick tips to begin putting the employee-customer relationship into historical and current context. Overall, the “customer is always right” atmosphere, the pandemic, and the current political context are creating a storm for service workers, the likes of which, perhaps, we have never seen before. But we have seen how it ends: we have seen multiple successful strikes in American history. Something is going to break, and soon.

Until that happens, continue to support workers’ rights and the workers themselves. Expanding upon the previous bullet point, the “waiter rule” is built upon the author and comedian Dave Barry quote, “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.” Although this rule seems simple on the surface, it encompasses all of the power dynamics and identity politics covered in this article. So, when did we lose sight of this rule? As soon as the pandemic began? A few months into it? Learning to live with COVID-19 also means learning to live with new modes of doing business. And service workers do not deserve to get left behind in that new reality. Going forward, just be nice. Be nice to everyone you meet. 

Human Trafficking in the Face of the Pandemic, Myths,
and Governmental Mismanagement

By Callie Anderson (she/her) and Holland Morgan (they/them)
TW: Mentions of Violence

Human trafficking (including sex, labor, and state-enforced) is largely seen as an underground industry and it did not go unaffected by the pandemic, some might say it became even more dangerous and difficult to track.  Two of the main ways the pandemic has impacted human trafficking is from a lack of resources for survivors or those vulnerable, as well as new state sanctions affecting how the industry operates.  
    We are all well aware that the pandemic affected the availability of both state and non-governmental organization resources for those vulnerable.  Victims of trafficking or those that could potentially be re-victimized were put at great risk because of a lack of resources as well as the industry being made even more invisible.  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a report on how the pandemic played a role in trafficking and offered the specific example pertaining to those trying to gain citizenship, “victims who have been provided with temporary immigration documents or time-limited services linked to their status as victims of trafficking might not be able to renew them easily. The situation can worsen if borders are closed and planned repatriations cannot take place, while residence permits and related access to healthcare and social benefits have already expired”.  Within the report there was also an in-depth section on how the internet played a role, with the dramatic global increases of people staying home in quarantine, the time we all spent online increased as well.  Some may believe that crime decreased overall during these past two years since everyone was limiting their interaction, but the reality for trafficking is that it allowed traffickers and their systems to become more invisible as well as exploit those that they could connect with over the internet.  
    The Trafficking In Persons Report released by the United States Government in the summer of 2021 has a tier system ranking the progress of countries globally in terms of prosecutions, convictions, victims identified, and any new legislation introduced.  The United States placed themselves in the highest tier, but there is a question of how the system of trafficking will change as the pandemic continues.  It also needs to be considered that even though the United States is ranking in the first tier, historically the USA is one of the highest receivers of trafficked peoples and just because they may have the highest number of prosecutions or convictions does not mean it is an issue of the past.  Battling the issue does not only include the legal side of it, the holistic needs of survivors needs to be addressed as well.  The physical and mental health of those in trafficking systems was affected because it was shown in a study done by the University of California, Davis, “Extra stress in the COVID-19 pandemic caused by income loss, and lack of ability to pay for housing and food has exacerbated the often silent epidemic of intimate partner violence.”  This point showcases that human trafficking survivors need solutions that address all of their needs. Trafficking is a human rights violation, but it has taken a backseat to other issues the world is facing, so prioritizing the institution of access to healthcare, social, and immigration support for survivors of trafficking is absolutely essential to ensuring the industry does not become more invisible than it already is.
    Even though human trafficking is an issue that many people globally are aware of, there can still easily be misconceptions based on media representations and well-intentioned but misinformed assumptions. In order to combat human trafficking, it is necessary to understand details about how human trafficking generally occurs. The following section addresses some of the most common myths or misconceptions about human trafficking.
    First, traffickers are not just noncitizens of the United States or people unknown to the victims. Many survivors were trafficked by someone they knew such as a romantic partner or family member. There are smugglers who traffick people into the United States, but the government already focuses much of their efforts on the prosecution of these people rather than our citizens and corporations that are involved in human trafficking. The Department of Labor developed the mobile apps Sweat & Toil and Comply Chain, which both provide data and learning modules on reducing labor trafficking by identifying what products are likely to be made with forced or child labor
    Second, trafficking situations are complicated, so victims are not always willing to leave and choose to stay. Some people lack the basic necessities, like transportation or a safe place to live. Some people fear for their safety or could be at risk for deportation if they are undocumented. Some people might not even realize they are in a trafficking situation because the traffickers manipulate them.
    Third, human trafficking does not require movement across a state or national border. While there are smugglers who trafficked victims into the United States or other countries, people can be trafficked in their own hometowns or homes.
    Fourth, most traffickers use psychological means such as tricking, defrauding, manipulating, or threatening victims into sex or labor trafficking. This means that trafficking does not necessitate violence and is not always (or even usually!) a violent crime.
       One of the major issues with legally addressing trafficking is that the social science research into trafficking—especially labor trafficking—has not been able to keep pace with legislative and enforcement policies, which have in turn been formulated and implemented without a basis in credible evidence. In general, because public discourse portrays trafficking as an international crime, federal antitrafficking efforts have focused on the prosecution of traffickers over victim protection.
       For example, undocumented trafficking victims can apply for a T visa through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but the visa is conditional on the victim’s cooperation with law enforcement and USCIS is required to refer denied applications to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which puts victims at risk for arrest and deportation.
       Antiprostitution and border control interest groups were integral in the development of American antitrafficking policies, especially in the very beginning of development. Unfortunately, their influence in shaping the development and implementation of antitrafficking laws, has made human trafficking issues worse for victims. Stricter border control and decreased opportunities for visas, for example, mean that more people will rely on smugglers to enter the country and will, therefore, be more vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking. Furthermore, stricter immigration policies results in victims being less likely to cooperate with law enforcement investigations into human trafficking because they can be misidentified as illegally in the country.
       Another issue is that in the government, there are so many departments and agencies involved with addressing human trafficking, but there is not a clear designation of roles. Victims have the options of going to the Department of State, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and more, which is an overwhelming amount of options especially for people in a possibly traumatic situation like trafficking. Human trafficking is not currently a primary concern for any federal or state departments because there are too many departments involved and they all face resource constraints. Furthermore, especially on a local level where police departments are the main enforcers of antitrafficking, there is a lack of comprehensive training about how to identify trafficking and protect victims.
      Even though there are structural challenges to addressing human trafficking in the United States, there are a number of resources that could be helpful for some trafficking victims. The T visa specifically is for human trafficking victims and there is also a U visa for victims of crime who have suffered physical or mental abuse, so human trafficking victims are also eligable for that visa. The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services offers an interactive map providing information on victim service programs in each county along with statewide programs. There is also financial assistance available for trafficking victims through the Victims Compensation Assistance Program to help fund relocating, counseling, and replacing identification documents.
      Outside of the government resources, The National Human Trafficking Resource Center can be reached at 1-888-373-7888 or by texting “BeFree” to 233733 to put victims in touch with social and legal services. Global Modern Slavery has a worldwide database of organizations and agencies that address modern slavery and human trafficking.
 

Light teal graphic with illustrations of femme-presenting folks with their arms thrown joyfully in the air.

Gender Justice Conference: Call for Proposals

 

The Gender Justice Conference Planning Committee would like to invite you to submit a proposal for our Second Annual Gender Justice Conference to be held on March 30th, 2022. This conference experience is dedicated to exploring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to engage in social change work with a specific focus on disrupting gender oppression, particularly as it intersects with other forms of oppression. 

Our vision for the 2022 conference is to continue to examine the ways that all oppressions are intrinsically linked and work to co-create an environment where transformative justice is possible, where everyone’s safety is secured, and where everyone finds a space of connection and belonging. We position this conference to center the voices and lived experiences of those who have been harmed by systemic oppression, uplift those whose oppressions are often made invisible, and offer space for self-authorship and the creation of new narratives.   

The conference committee encourages proposals on topics including self-authorship and narrative building, dismantling leadership barriers commonly linked to gender identities, coalition building across difference, developing strategies for engaging in social change work, and cultivating a community of collaborators, mentors, and allies. Participants will critically examine social justice issues through an intersectional lens and be encouraged to apply what they learn into their day-to-day lives and in their communities.     

Please direct any questions to Mx. Tess Benser (they/them/theirs) at TBENSER@WCUPA.EDU. Thanks! 

Light teal graphic with illustration of blond femme person painting.

Call for Artistic Submissions

 

The Gender Justice Conference Planning Committee would like to invite you to submit a proposal for our Second Annual Gender Justice Conference to be held on March 30th, 2022. This conference experience is dedicated to exploring the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to engage in social change work with a specific focus on disrupting gender oppression, particularly as it intersects with other forms of oppression. 

Our vision for the 2022 conference is to continue to examine the ways that all oppressions are intrinsically linked.  We aim to co-create an environment where transformative justice is not merely possible but standard, where everyone’s safety is secured, and where everyone finds a space of connection and belonging. We position this conference to center the voices and lived experiences of those who have been harmed by systemic oppression, uplift those whose oppressions are often made invisible, and offer space for self-authorship and the creation of new narratives.   

The conference committee encourages artistic submissions from the WCU community with themes including self-authorship and narrative building, coalition building across difference, radical self-love, finding joy and healing in resistance, and cultivating a community of care and collaboration. Participants are encouraged to submit works across a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to visual art, poetry, prose, music (recording, composition, or pre-recorded performance), dance or theatrical performance, and fashion, makeup, and nail art video or display, as well as interactive practices that incorporate artistic expression (such as yoga, ballet basics, mindfulness meditation).  

Please direct any questions to Mx. Tess Benser (they/them/theirs) at TBENSER@WCUPA.EDU. Thanks! 

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