Gender class presents on charities

Posted on 27 March 2013 by admin

Students give preview as part of women’s history month.

By: Kavahn Mansouri

Kevin Atienza speaks during his group's presentation of GLAAD as part of Chris Smejkal's Gender Communcation class. The class focuses on the differences between gender and sex and the impact of society on the roles of men and women. | PHOTO BY Kavahn Mansouri

On Friday, March 22 in the Library Confluence Room two Gender Communications classes took part in a presentation on issues relating to women’s lives and charities that are actively assisting women.

Groups presented on charities working to prevent suicide, donating towards gay rights and several other causes. The presentations were a “sampler” for the classes’ final project at the end of the semester.

Assistant Professor Chris Smejkal, Ph.D., said the goal of the preview is to prepare his students for the final project of the semester.

“The goal here is, this is a preview presentation of a presentation they will be giving at the end of the semester,” Smejkal said. “The presentations are on issues that affect men or women’s lives. They have to find a charity that champions that cause.”

Smejkal said the project is also a great way to raise money for the charities and requires a $5 donation from every student in the class that is then donated to the classes charity of choice.

“Everyone in the class donates $5 and then we vote on which charity is the most deserving. Then that money I collect, I donate some money on top of that and write a check to that organization along with a letter with everyone’s names and everyone signs that,” Smejkal said. “This is the first time we’ve incorporated into women’s history month as far as doing a preview campus wide presentation.”

Smejkal added the class has raised over $2000 for charities in the St. Louis area and around the country.

The preview is part of Meramec’s Women’s History month, Smejkal said.

“This is absolutely in connection with [Women’s History Month,] we’re talking about issues that are affecting women’s lives,” Smeikel said. “We’re looking at charities that can help women out in a variety of circumstances. Today we saw [charities for] homeless women, domestic violence and the LGBT community.”

Smejkal said many of his students have gone on to participate in the charities they present on.

“This is more than a grade for them, they can change some ones life,” Smejkel said. “I have students who are passionate and end up volunteering for their organization.”


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