Alexis Edenfield, Savanah Hofstetter and Caitlin Haab play out their assigned roles in “Role with it: A Workshop on Gender Roles and Expectations,” presented by Kate Spike’s Language Variation class.
Story by Megan Good
Photos by Meg Short
Every spring at Bluffton University, classes are cancelled for Civic Engagement Day, and students, faculty and staff attend presentations and activities that revolve around specific topic. This year’s theme was gender.
Students are not required to attend the presentations, though their professors may encourage them to go to presentations offered during their normal class time. This year, the presenters and the topics they presented on included “The Beaver Monologues,” heteronormativity and the economics of gender.
Some presentations were led by Bluffton students, while others were presented by faculty and staff. Jonathan Gottschall was the keynote speaker for the evening presentation on the relationship between aggression in mixed martial arts and gender stereotypes.
Sophomore Justina Fuqua said she enjoyed seeing students present on topics they are passionate about.
“I wish that there were more students presenting,” Fuqua said. “I like seeing students involved in the lectures.”
Fuqua was part of a panel that presented on “The Beaver Monologues.” The group, lead by senior Rebecca Juliana, brought the stories and struggles of Bluffton women to life through theatre.
“We talked about our experiences being part of the monologues,” said freshman Victoria Sinift, who was also a part of the panel. “People who had been in ‘The Vagina Monologues’ last year compared it to what it that had been last year. We talked about why ‘The Beaver Monologues’ are important.”
Fuqua said she is among the many students who enjoy going to the different events. Her favorite event this year was the presentation on a love triangle in classical music.
“It was about Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms and gender inequality in music at that time,” Fuqua said. “I love the Brahms-Schumann love triangle. It’s like my favorite love story ever.”
Fuqua said she likes Civic Engagement Day because she finds the events interesting, although she wishes more of the events offered arts and lectures credit aside from the evening event. Arts and lecture credit would give students more of an incentive to go to the events and help those who are struggling to get all their credits, she said.
Sinift, however, is not taken by the prospect of Civic Engagement Day.
“I don’t like it at all,” Sinift said. “I feel like they’re trying to force students to be a part of something that most students are going to ultimately end up tuning out.”
Fortunately for students like Sinift, the theme for Civic Engagement day changes every year. Next year’s theme will focus on creativity and the arts.