UNCW Replaces ‘Women’s Studies’ with ‘Gender Studies’ to Be ‘Inclusive’ of Transgenders

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AP Photo/Steven Senne

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) has gotten rid of its “Women’s Studies and Resource” center, and replaced it with a “Gender Studies and Research” center in an attempt to be more inclusive to “transgender women.”

The Women’s Studies and Resource Center Advisory Board voted unanimously to do away with its Women’s Studies and Resource Center in an effort to accommodate transgender individuals, according to an announcement on the school’s website. The center is now called the “UNCW Gender Studies and Research Center.”

UNCW elaborated, noting that Gender Studies and Research Center director Dana Stachowia said: “The change from ‘women’s studies’ to ‘gender studies’ and ‘resource’ to ‘research’ better serves the mission of the center and keeps current with important issues and trends in the larger field of gender studies.”

UNCW went on to suggest that getting rid of the Women’s Studies center will actually result in “better support” for both “cisgender and transgender women.”

“Being more research focused will allow the center to better support faculty, students and campus and community organizations already providing resources for cisgender and transgender women, such as the LGBTQIA Resource Office and CARE: Collaboration for Assault Response and Education,” reads the statement.

The announcement adds that Stachowia took over the center last August, and has since “focused on expanding and strengthening the program’s curriculum” in order to “focus on expanding research,” and make the center “a more collaborative space.”

“While our focus on supporting the work and lives of women will remain central, the name change highlights our support of the work and lives of all gender minorities,” said Stachowiak, who has been teaching at UNCW since 2016.

“Not only will the new name be more inclusive of individuals we hope to continue to serve, it will be more reflective of what our affiliated faculty are teaching and researching,” the director added.

According to the Gender Studies and Research Center’s Facebook page, the center includes “an interdisciplinary and intersectional community of students, scholars, and advocates committed to social justice and equity,” with a mission to “combat social inequality at every level.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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