New Club on Campus: The Birkenstocks: Gender Studies Club

By Alexa Manzo
Staff Writer

This article was originally published in Issue 10, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (March 3, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue. 

A new club has arrived on campus called The Birkenstocks: Gender Studies Club. Assistant professor of communication Dr. Katherine Grasso will facilitate the club.

Grasso is in her first year at DeSales and teaches many communication courses. Last semester she taught a class called Gender Communication that had about 11 students enrolled in it. The class discussed popular culture, history and modern problems with gender topics in our culture. The students wanted to continue their studies about gender, which with Grasso’s help, turned into the Studies club.

Dr. Katherine Grasso implements The Birkenstocks: Gender Studies club on campus. Photo courtesy of University of California Davis.
Dr. Katherine Grasso implements The Birkenstocks: Gender Studies club on campus. Photo courtesy of University of California Davis.

The club welcomes new members to join and express their opinions on the gender norms of today’s society and how the world of gender equality has changed. Grasso will send out articles, podcasts or videos for the students to watch, and during the meetings they discuss their reactions and feelings about the content.

The club is trying to get either a guest speaker to come to the meeting, or to come to DeSales for a bigger talk. “She’s from an organization in Allentown that focuses on helping women get out of sex trafficking, because that’s kind of a big problem in Allentown, so it should be a really interesting outside perspective on an issue that’s important and should be talked about,” said Grasso.

Jaclyn Silvestri, who was a student in the Gender Communication class, is now one of the pioneers of the club.

“The gender studies club has been a great opportunity to sit down and discuss relevant topics regarding gender with my peers,” says Silvestri. “It’s something that often gets overlooked, but definitely needs to be discussed. I would recommend for anyone who is interested in questioning social norms to join the club!”

Meetings are bi-weekly in the ARC lounge in the basement of Dooling. The club is open to anyone who wants to join and engage in captivating conversation about gender norms and the world we live in today.

Students interested in joining can contact Sarah O’Connell at so4350@desales.edu.

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