Women’s History Month starts strong at SHSU

March is Women’s History Month, and for Sam Houston State University students and faculty, it is an opportunity to recognize influential women around campus and in Texas. The College of Education and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) will host multiple events through March in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Events include film screenings, panel discussions, lectures and even a conversation with university President Dana G. Hoyt later in March. On Thursday, the Diversity Council will hold the event “Why Do Women Hate Women?” and on Friday a panel discussion of female student-leaders at SHSU will take place in the Olson Auditorium in Academic Building IV.

“We reached out to women that are leaders of various organizations on campus,” Associate Dean of the College of Education Jannah Nerren said. “We cast a very wide net because we want the panel to be diverse in every way. [We want the panel] to represent different types of organizations, to represent students who come from different disciplines, who are studying different things, as well as racial diversity.”

In addition to the events of Women’s History Month, a social media campaign has been started. Each week in March, students and faculty are encouraged to post a picture on their social media with the hashtag #shsugirlpower.

Each week includes a different challenge. The first week’s challenge is to post a picture of a personal female hero; the following week’s challenge is to post a book or article by a female author, then the final week’s challenge is to post a quote by an influential woman.

All thirteen events scattered throughout March in some way include discussions from and about influential women of the past and present. Nerren discussed why the events of Women’s Month at SHSU are important to her.

“Women’s history has not always been on the forefront, there has been inadequate exposure of women’s issues and history,” Nerren said. “We really want to promote the leadership of women, and the leadership of our Bearkat women. We want [audiences] to have the opportunity to see the leaders that have come before and for them to be able to contribute to the conversation.”

That conversation, in this case, is all about influential women and why we should pay attention to their contributions. Nerren stressed the importance of having a diverse representation of women from all disciplines and walks of life. Events like “Gender Issues and Opportunities in the Workplace” on March 28 and “Women in the Muslim World” on March 29 help round out the discussions.

“I represent the College of Education and our Equity in Action Committee, and my co-chair is Dr. Wesley Phelps, who is Assistant Professor of History,” Nerren said. “He represents the CHSS and their Equity and Inclusion Committee. It’s a collaborative effort of our two colleges—specifically the committees that are committed to equity and diversity— that are sponsoring the events.”

Aside from the College of Education and the CHSS, other organizations are involved in some aspects of Women’s History Month, as well. The Bearkat History Club will co-sponsor a screening of the film “Frida” on March 7, and the Veteran’s Resource Center and the Campus Veteran’s Association will host the Women and the Military Social Hour on March 23.

All events of Women’s History Month are free of charge and open to all SHSU students and faculty.

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