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Women and Gender Studies department hosts welcome-back social

Crafts were available at the WGS social on Sept. 13, 2023.
Chris Aukes
Crafts were available at the WGS social on Sept. 13, 2023.

The Women and Gender Studies (WGS) department held a “welcome back” social Wednesday with ice cream, crafts, bingo and socialization. The event was catered by the Iowa State Creamery, featuring many different Cyclone-themed ice cream flavors, and was held at the Sloss House on central campus.

There was no requirement for the attendees to be a WGS major or minor. Mariana Chavez, a senior studying public relations, said, “I came with my friend. She said, ‘Do you want to go? It’s a social, it’s ice cream, you get to be in the Sloss House.’ I said, ‘Yeah!’”

Chavez said she would love to attend more events like the social.

“Everyone’s definitely very welcoming,” Chavez said. “I really love that! I don’t feel intimidated!”

Kaylynn Dresch, a senior studying WGS, works as the social media coordinator for the department. Dresch joined the program after she was introduced to it in a learning community when she came to Iowa State.

“I didn’t even know WGS was a thing until I got put in the learning community,” Dresch said. “Then I just fell in love with the course content… and I really love the atmosphere and the professors.” As a social media coordinator, Dresch has the opportunity to make graphics and plan posts for WGS. Dresch attended the event not only for fun but to also promote the event.

At the social, University of Iowa graduate Rose Cooney greeted attendees at the door. Cooney graduated with a degree in gender, women and sexuality studies and political science, and has now held a position at Iowa State for two years.

“Being a part of the program here, I’ve just been able to meet so many amazing students, so many amazing faculty,” Cooney said. “The staff is great.” At the social event, Cooney met attendees with a smile and a “get to know you” bingo card.

This year, Cooney is looking forward to many things. The pandemic made it harder for Cooney to put on events, but now that things are slowly going back to normal, Cooney said they have lots up their sleeve for this year. “We are able to put on events like this ice cream social, so we’re hoping to do more events throughout the semester that are able to engage students and get people more involved,” Cooney said.

WGS has more planned for this semester, including but not limited to the “WGS Semester Check-In” held at noon Monday, Sept. 18. The goal of this event is to allow students to meet with two members of the WGS department about their successes and needs for the semester. Students who attend are welcome to bring their own lunch.

At 7 p.m on Oct. 15, Cyclone Cinema will be hosting a watch party for the newly released “Barbie” movie to be sponsored in part by the WGS program. At 2 p.m. on Oct. 18, the department will be holding a talkback and debrief surrounding the movie. More information regarding the WGS department can be found on their website.

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