awareness should be a priority, speaker tells Women
and Gender Studies meeting
By Aaron Falk
April 11, 2006 | In the 1890s, only 39 women were
enrolled as students at the Utah Agricultural College.
Since then, women have taken great strides toward gender
equality at USU, but a college education must include
more than resume building if those efforts are to continue,
Susan Mannon, a professor of sociology at USU told students
and faculty Monday.
Mannon, a self-described incurable overachiever, said
"consciousness raising" should be the top priority of
higher education. She spoke to a group of about 30 students
and teachers during the Women and Gender Studies spring
"Education is not simply about getting good grades,
putting credentials and majors on your resume so you
can be marketable in the real word," she said.
Careerism, the pursuit of professional gain at the
cost of integrity, is the wrongly driving undercurrent
of undergraduate education, Mannon said.
"Finding one's path, finding one's larger purpose
in life; being a student should be about becoming a
seeker of that path," she said.
The Women and Gender Studies program offers students
a minor certificate. This year, eight students will
graduate with the minor on their transcript.
During a student-panel discussion, Jessica Sahely,
a gender studies student of Afghani decent, said she
was drawn to the program because of "dinner conversations
about what we have in this country and what (women in
Afghanistan) can't have."
Members of the panel said some people may have the
wrong idea of feminism and said a feminist is not a
"Feminism for me is definitely not man hating," panel
member Lindsay Kite said. "It's about equality, politically
Other members of the panel said the WGS program provides
a support group for likeminded, progressive people
both male and female.