We sat down with WGS and English double-major Raegan Whiteside to talk about her experiences leading Literati (the CofC English club), how she came to study WGS, and what areas of WGS she’s most passionate about.
First off, why did you choose to major in WS?
I chose to major in WGS after my first WGS class – Feminism and Jiu-Jitsu (taught by Dr. Kristi Brian). I left that class each day feeling empowered and free. I was surrounded by unique, powerful, independent and different women and yet we all had the common goal of supporting and lifting each other up. We formed a community. That’s why I chose to major in WGS, because I loved that feeling of community and lifting up others, of empowerment and acceptance and WGS Department is the only place I have found that consistently.
What areas/aspects of WGS you find most engaging or interesting? Or, what WGS-related issues are most passionate about?
I think many of us are in WGS because we are passionate about equal rights and empowering others, especially minority groups. But I think the diversity found in WGS – in the faculty and students, the courses and topics discussed or even the events – is what I find most interesting and what excites me.
Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing (ex. volunteering/local activism), or any involvement you have on campus with clubs/organizations.
After my WGS internship ended at skirt. magazine, they offered me two paid positions – Freelance Writer and Magazine Distributor. I’m also the Co-President of Literati (the CofC English club), and a Humanities and Social Sciences Ambassador. When I’m not in class or working on any of those activities, I work at Buxton Bookstore here downtown.
What does being a WGS student mean to you, and why do you think it’s important that we study WGS?
WGS, for me, means community and acceptance (like I mentioned before). I think, in our society today, it’s easy to get caught up in being something you’re not and losing sight of what matters. But, with WGS, I’m always able to be completely myself and WGS challenges me to do better, fight for what I’m passionate about and not shy away when things get difficult.
I think every CofC student should take a WGS class before they graduate because we are in the 21st century and it’s time to quit denying the obvious — that we need change and we need equality and we need everyone on board. WGS is for those who are ready for change, but also for those who want to learn more, for those who want to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone and actually make a difference in our community, society and culture.