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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Staff ed: Success of the Gender Neutrality Workshop

Given the seemingly apathetic nature of Grinnell’s student body—think open forums attended by more cookies than students—last week’s Gender Neutrality Workshop was eye-opening in more ways than one.

The forum, which aimed to answer questions and initiate dialogue about gender neutrality on campus, had over 100 student, faculty and staff attendees. The fact that this event was able to draw together such a large portion of the campus on a weekday night shows that gender neutrality is a relevant concern for students and a topic of active discussion.

Thanks to the Stonewall Resource Center, Grinnell AJust and the Transgender Action Group’s adept organization and publicity, the workshop drew a wide variety of students. Rather than preaching to the social justice choir, the forum reached students who came with legitimate questions and concerns regarding gender neutrality while adding new voices to the discussion and allowing it to move forward.

As AJust and other social justice groups increase their presence on campus, students will see more opportunities to address potentially sensitive issues as a community. If anything, last week’s forum is evidence that students are ready and willing to have these discussions.

It is still a little early in the year to count our socially-just eggs before they hatch, but here’s hoping that as workloads increase and stress mounts, he, she and ze will still find time to come together and continue the discussion of issues central to our understanding of social justice and of each other.

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