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Gender & Sexuality

The Gender & Sexuality coalition is a community space for students, staff, faculty, and community partners committed to learning, raising awareness, and taking action in the Gender and Sexuality issue areas at CC and beyond. We recognize the intersectionality between gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, class, nation and citizenship, age, and ability. Hence, we seek to bring the lived experiences, skills, and expertise of our community members together to dismantle the power structures of misogyny, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia that enabled gender-based violence in the first place. This coalition aims to connect, empower, and build solidarity among individuals who are already, or are interested in doing this work.

History of the Issue at CC

  • 1874: Colorado College's first classes were on May 6, 1874. The class consisted of 13 men and 12 women in the first class sessions.
  • 1889: Intended to act as a bridge between female community members interested and female CC students, the Woman's Educational Society (WES) of Colorado College was formed.
  • 1893: Colorado became the first state in the United States where white women were granted the right to vote in all elections.
  • 1896: Ruth Loomis was appointed CC's first white dean of women.
  • 1911: The first white woman with a Ph.D., Leila Clement Spaulding, began teaching.
  • 1964: A new form of student government was created. It replaced a system that had an additional student government exclusively for women students to make and enforce social rules.
  • 1971: The student organization Ayuda was established on campus for women's health needs. They also pressed for equal numbers of men and women in the student body, which was achieved by the early 1990s.
  • 1972: CC President Lloyd Worner vetoed the charter of the Gay Liberation Front at CC. Since Colorado College received U.S. Government funds for scholarships, scientific research, constructing dormitories, etc., Title IX had a major impact on athletic activity at the college.
  • 1973: To highlight a shortcoming in women's athletic facilities, 20 female students staged a "shower in" in one of the men's locker rooms in the college's El Pomar Sports Center.
  • 1974: The Women's Commission was formed to create a permanent organization designed to represent women's rights and interests, focusing especially on more instruction on women and women's accomplishments in academic courses.
  • 1975: Reacting to the pressures created by Title IX, President Lloyd Edson Worner hired Laura Golden to organize a formal intercollegiate sports program for female students. Golden engaged the student body to determine athletic interest and established eight intercollegiate varsity sports for females.
  • 1988: "Sexual Orientation" was added to CC's Anti-Discrimination Policy.
  • 1990: The Bisexual, Gay, and Lesbian Alliance (BGALA) was founded.
  • 1995: A Women's Studies major was recognized as part of the curriculum. CC did not adopt a Women's Studies major until it had a female president (Kathryn Mohrman).
  • 2003: The student organization EQUAL (Empowered Queers United for Absolute Liberation) was founded.
  • 2006: Queer-Straight Alliance was founded. Women's Studies became the Feminist and Gender Studies Program.
  • 2011: The college added "gender identity, gender expression" as an additional category for protection in Article IX of its Equal Opportunity Statement and in its Anti-Discrimination Policy.
  • 2014: Named after Ellis Ulysses Buttler Jr. '40, the Butler Center at CC took over the duties of the Office of Minority and International Students (OMIS), established in 1990, serving as the college's hub for diversity, inclusion, and intercultural exchange.
  • 2016: At Homecoming 2016, receptions for LGBTQIA+ alumni and students, as well as alumni and students of color, were held.
  • 2017: After CC community members raised allegations that William F. Slocum engaged in sexual misconduct while president at CC, the board reviewed the information and decided unanimously to rescind his honorary degree from 1917 and ordered the immediate removal of his name from 2 campus buildings.
  • 2020: On December 9, 2020, CC announced its incoming 14th President, L. Song Richardson, a legal scholar, dedicated educator, lawyer, and expert on implicit racial and gender bias. Of Black and Korean heritage, she will be the first woman of color to hold the presidency at CC.

Current State of the Issue at CC

Groups

Wellness Resource Center

  • Student Organization for Sexual Safety (SOSS)
    • SOSS is a student coalition of passionate allies, survivors, and advocates who are dedicated to creating a healthy and safe sexual climate, as well as shifting the culture on Colorado College's campus towards ending sexual violence. We tackle issues through varied and intersectional lenses such as rape culture, sexual assault, rape, intimate partner violence, and other forms of abuse and trauma, while also celebrating and promoting healthy, pleasurable, and consensual intimate experiences. SOSS provides students with a platform to question and understand the intricacies of these issues and the ways in which they influence our community.
    • Survivors Only Space: The Survivors Only Space is a peer-facilitated support group for survivors of sexual assault that addresses the dynamic and ongoing process of trauma and healing.Survisors Only Space operates under SOSS.
  • START
    • The Student Title IX Assistance & Resource Team (START) is a confidential peer-to-peer resource for students seeking Title IX-related support*. Title IX-related issues include gender-based discrimination, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking. START members are students trained to provide resources and information for fellow students regarding the Title IX process at CC. We also provide information about other resources available on and off campus for Title IX-related issues. START is not, however, a resource for crisis situations.

*START members are not advocates, nor do they sit in on any of the Title IX official proceedings.

Butler Center

  •  Empowered Queers United for Absolute Liberation (EQUAL) 
    • EQUAL is a confidential, safe space dedicated to discussion and building LGBTQIA+ community on campus. EQUAL is exclusively for queer and questioning individuals, and meets Wednesdays at 8PM in the Interdisciplinary House.
    • Meetings: Wednesdays at 8pm in the ID House.
  • Queer Community Coalition
    • Queer Community Coalition is an organization that creates intentional spaces for facilitating dialogue within the queer community and fostering discussion with CC at large.
    • Meetings: First three Tuesdays of the Block Upstairs Worner.
  • The Masculinity Project
    • The Masculinity Project invites masculine-identified undergraduates to discuss and interrogate masculinities, patriarchy, and other critical issues centered on inclusion and equity. As masculine-identified individuals often feel left out or believe they are the target of discussions around social justice, this group is one important approach to invite and include them in the conversation. This project partners with masculine-identified faculty and staff who do similar work and provide guidance to the undergraduates.
    • Contact Noble Gough at ngough@coloradocollege.edu or Mateen Zafer at mzafer@coloradocollege.edu for more information. 

Courses

  • Community-Based Praxis
    • Professor Gail Murphy-Geiss (Sociology) has partnered with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (headquartered in Denver) on research projects that students complete over half-block.  This is a follow-up opportunity offered to students who excel in her Research Methods course.  For the majority of the decade, students were analyzing pre- and post-tests of youth who had undergone a safe sex curriculum through Planned Parenthood.  This past year, students analyzed factors that contributed to "no show" rates of people not coming to their scheduled appointments.

Organizations

*If you know that you wish to have medical evidence collected and receive medical services, you can go directly to the Memorial Hospital Emergency Room for this process. When you arrive in the ER, tell the intake nurse that you are requesting a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) exam. The CC SARC can also help transport you to Memorial and support you through this process.

Discussion and Reporting Resources

A person may wish to discuss an incident confidentially without filing a report. CC offers a variety of confidential resources and support options:

How to Get Involved

Join the CCE Gender & Sexuality listserv (Outlook) and come to one of the blockly coalition meetings!

Become a trained crisis responder:

  • Volunteer for the Crisis Text Line
    • Crisis Counselors commit to volunteering 4 hours per week until 200 hours are reached. They ask that volunteers complete 30 hours of training (free of charge) before committing to this opportunity.
  • Volunteer for the Latina SafeHouse: “Latina SafeHouse is a non-profit organization that has been working for 16 years with the mission of providing bilingual and culturally sensitive services to Latinx survivors of Domestic Violence and their families. We assist survivors with services like counseling, housing, legal, and transportation. We just recently created the Tú Comunidad 24/7 Crisis line as numbers of domestic violence have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers for the crisis line will become advocates for survivors, responding to phone/text remotely. As advocates they educate callers about domestic violence and agency services, provide community navigation and connect callers to available resources/referrals, and help goal and safety plan. 
    • They are looking for bilingual individuals who speak Spanish and English and are 18+
    • All volunteers will participate in a free 40-hour domestic violence training through Violence Free Colorado
    • Volunteers are asked to commit to 4, 4-hour shifts per month
    • Contact: Valquiria De Laurenzio (valquiria@latinasafehouse.org)

Resources

Websites, Databases & Newsletters 
Documentary Films on Kanopy
  1. The Mask You Live In and Miss Representation are both movies that have been screened at Colorado College in years prior, and offer critical perspectives on gender socialization and inequality in the current U.S. culture.  These are quite popular documentaries.
  2. Anita: Speaking Truth to Power chronicles the journey of Anita Hill as she testified against Clarence Thomas’ conduct as a then Supreme Court nominee, with accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace.  As one of the first nationally televised events relating to topics of Gender-Based Violence, this congressional hearing catapulted the U.S. into a forced confrontation of unspoken truths about gendered power. 
  3. Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower features the life histories and reflections from Black women working in higher education.  While sharing about their childhoods, time in grade school and college, and their current trials and tribulations in their university positions, these women’s collective stories represent a narrative that is less often heard, and offer a nuanced journey into racial history in the U.S. 
  4. Abortion has remained a contentious and pressing issue in American and global politics for many years, due to the moral, religious, and rights-based associated perspectives. Abortion: Stories Women Tell from HBO channels this debate through powerful storytelling from women both utilizing Hope Clinic’s services in Illinois, and fighting against them.
  5. The New Black, while released way back in 2013, provides an in-depth look at African-American organizers mobilizing around both sides of the gay rights movement focused on equal marriage rights, and early discussions on the importance, yet struggle, of coming to terms with intersectional racial and sexual identities.
  6. The Revival: Black Lesbian Poets and Lesbian Thinkers follows a group of queer Black artists as they navigate their poetry tour across the U.S., building community and momentum for such art as they go. Along with moving poetry and music, this movie highlights the creativity, strength, and celebration of Blackness and queerness.
Presentations, Panels, & Short Clips
  • The Urgency of Intersectionality: hear from the leading Western scholar on gender & racial intersections and the academic who coined the term “intersectionality,” Kimberle Crenshaw, in her powerful TED talk from 2016.
Podcast Episodes & Series
  • LBTQ&A is a great interview-based podcast focused on featuring stories of LGBTQA+ individuals all around the globe. Some good episodes to start with are “Maria Town: Disability Rights are LGBTQ+ Rights” and “Chasten Buttigieg: Shares His Side of the Story” about the pressure to perform your sexuality when under the national spotlight.
  • LOCAL - Elevating Pikes Peak Women: A new, local podcast series launched by the non-profit organization called Pikes Peak Women and hosted by Mary Lou Makepeace, our former Colorado Springs mayor. Topics for this podcast vary, though focus on critical issues important to folks in the Pikes Peak region. 
  • LOCAL - Women Making Change: Another local podcast series from Pikes Peak Women that seeks to provide a platform for women in the Pikes Peak region to engage and discuss important issues. 
Report an issue - Last updated: 08/11/2021