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F=E Presents At Faculty Meeting

Leaders of the feminism movement at Andover gave a three-part presentation during Monday’s faculty meeting in Kemper Auditorium in order to clarify questions regarding the movement. The faculty later discussed the issues addressed after the students had left.

Zoë Chazen ’14, MJ Engel ’13, Gabbi Fisher ’13, Gaelyn Golde ’13, Maia Hirschler ’13, Kristin Mendez ’13, Jackie Murray ’13, Nicole Ng ’13, Tyler Olkowski ’13, Farris Peale ’14, Jing Qu ’13, Madeline Silva ’13 and Heather Zhou ’13 led the discussion.

The faculty remained in the auditorium after the presenters had left to further discuss the information and come up with means by which faculty could support the movement, which the students were hoping to achieve through their presentation.

Fisher said, “Faculty are here for decades and witness the school evolving, while students are cycled out every four years. Lasting change comes from faculty involvement, and we hope that our presentation will encourage more faculty to address the issues of gender that still exist at Andover.”

Engel said, “I hope the faculty will take away a sense of responsibility and also empowerment to address these issues. Faculty should realize that they have a direct influence on student life, and this influence can be used for the good by incorporating discussions of race, class, gender and sexuality into the curriculum.”

The presenters began the evening with an experiences section, which consisted of the anonymous testimonials submitted by students relating to experiences in settings ranging from the classroom to the hookup culture, according to Fisher.

These experiences had been posted anonymously to the Feminism is Equality blog, or one of the feminism Facebook pages by students to showcase the different points of views on the feminism movement and gender roles on campus, said Qu.

The second part of the presentation, according to Fisher, focused on groups on campus such as Women’s Forum (WOFO), The Girls Leadership Project (GLP) and Feminism is Equality and efforts these groups have made to address gender disparities in the Andover community.

In the third portion of the presentation, Fisher said that students offered a “wish list,” or suggestions to faculty in order to continue the shift toward gender equality at Andover.

Qu said that the suggestion portion of the presentation addressed what teachers can do to both notice and address gender issues not only in classrooms, but also in the larger context of Andover as a community, such as how sex education is provided on campus.

Ng said, “[Room visiting] talks are successful in terms of providing logistical information, but are not effective in talking about the ways in which a relationship can affect a student’s life at Andover.”

“There are many things that are not being noticed, especially about the hookup culture, nuances in classrooms and leadership positions,” she continued.

David Fox, Instructor in English, said, “I think that it was hard for any member of faculty to not be provoked. The presentation made many of us realize that we have some work to do in a variety of different areas.”

Fox said, “Most of the faculty who spoke after the students left expressed some level of surprise. Many reactions were, ‘I didn’t know about this,’ or ‘I hadn’t really thought about incorporating this,’” he continued.

Ellen Greenberg, Instructor in Mathematics, said, “It opened an ongoing conversation to the entire faculty, and we should continue this important dialogue between students and faculty next year. Personally, I hope we can empower students to continue this dialogue among themselves, and that students and faculty together continue to work for necessary change.”