Mount Allison students rally to save women and gender studies program

A professor at Mount Allison University says the Women and Gender studies program is being cut. Students and faculty alike are organizing to save the popular program

'We're not going down without a fight'

Mount Allison University student Katharyn Stevenson says she hopes to see the decision not to fund the women and gender studies program next year, reversed. (CBC )

Students are organizing to save the women and gender studies program at Mount Allison University.

Lisa Dawn Hamilton, the program's acting director, said at a recent meeting with the dean, it was confirmed the program has no funding beyond the current academic year.  
Lisa Dawn Hamilton, acting director of the women and gender studies program at Mount Allison, says the program is more relevant than ever. (CBC)

"I was informed that there was no budget for the women and genders studies program for next year which means that no courses will be offered," said Hamilton.

Katharyn Stevenson, a third–year student, is working on a minor in women and gender studies and she is unhappy with the decision. She says she's working to spread the word. 

"We are not going to let this go down without a fight, and our voices are going to be heard," said Stevenson. She said students are meeting this week to discuss their next move. An online petition has already garnered more than 4,000 signatures. 

And on Twitter, using the hashtag #WGSTcuts, Jane Dryden tweeted: "The Dean of Arts denies that WGST is being cut, since that would require consultation. Instead, just getting $0 funding. Hmmm."
Tasia Alexopoulos, an instructor at Mount Allison's women and gender studies program, says enrolment has tripled in the popular program. (CBC)

Hamilton says women and gender studies is more relevant now than it ever has been.

"If you look at Ghomeshi, Cosby, all these scandals ... that are directly related to the field of women and gender studies, things that women study within this field," she said.

Tasia Alexopoulos is an instructor in the program and she says she's seen enrolment in the program triple in size.

"Our classes are always full, we have wait lists for our courses, we have to increase the enrolment cap for our classes usually," she said.

When contacted, Mount Allison University's administration said no final decisions have been made and long–term plans for the program are still up in the air. Students enrolled in the program will be able to finish.

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