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Statement from the Department

June 5th, 2020

The department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies joins many others in our community in expressing grief and outrage at the murder of GEORGE FLOYD, DAVID MCATEE, BREONNA TAYLOR, TONY MCDADE, ATATIANA JEFFERSON, KAYLA MOORE, among too many other Black Americans. We know that this racial violence is woven into the fabric of the United States and we must put our efforts towards changing the structure and institutions that perpetuate it. We say BLACK LIVES MATTER and #SAYHERNAME.

Every day in our classrooms we discuss and debate issues of power, privilege, and the systemic conditions of inequality and domination. We grapple with forms of discrimination and draw critical knowledge from our explorations and analysis. We use lenses of race, gender, sexuality, class, and ability to frame our perspectives. We challenge ourselves to see through, and past white supremacist, heteropatriarchal, and class-based ideologies that legitimize inequality across all areas of lived experience. These are the skills that can help us to both understand and respond to state-sanctioned violence against people of color. These understandings will help us chart paths forward toward another, better world, recognizing we each have different roles to play. People will respond to this moment of both grief and spirited resistance differently.

We encourage you to seek help if you need it, reach out to others, and hold each other up.

We endorse the statement issued by National Women’s Studies Association:

COVID-19 Response

We know that this is a very difficult time for many of you and we are dedicated to ensuring your academic success at this difficult time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructors or our department at for assistance. We will also list some key student resources below.

To try to reduce stress and pressure students may be feeling about the current shift to remote learning and to help make sure students have fewer obstacles to graduation we have temporarily waived the WGSS departmental maximum credits for Pass/No pass classes. For winter and spring term 2020, all WGSS students may choose the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grading option for any of their major courses. Under this grading option, a “P” grade will be recorded for a C- or above, and an NP grade will be recorded for a D+ or below. As per the Provost’s recent announcement, students have until July 16, 2020 to declare this grading option for Spring 2020. Please note that this change will not immediately be reflected on student degree guides but the registrar’s office is working diligently with WGSS and many other departments on campus to make this change.

Student Resources

Student Advising:
-Campus Resources For academic advising, please contact PPSI flight path advisors at or at 541-346-9200. General advising info is available at:

Financial Hardships:
-The UO has received $8 million in Emergency CARES grants that are available to students who have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Examples of eligible expenses include medical, food, housing, utility, and technology expenses; relocation costs to return home; unexpected childcare; course materials; and other unexpected expenses. Students who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for the emergency grants.

-Students may also seek support from the donor-supported Students in Crisis Fund. Students who are dealing with serious financial disruptions that might negatively impact their academics are encouraged to call 541-346-3216 or visit

-You may also contact Tykeson advisors for potential assistance – call or email to make an appointment or attend drop-in hours – or at 541-346-9200.

Remote Course Help:
-For assistance with remote instruction, find quick links at

-Remote tools and low cost internet options for students can be found here:

Counseling and Medical Advice
-For counseling and medical advice, the University Health Center continues to offer services to students even if they are not in Eugene. This includes the counseling center and a nurse advice hotline at (541) 346-2770.
-The UO Counseling Center offers resources for support during a pandemic of racism 

Division of Equity and Inclusion
-Provides online resources and information for underserved populations and allies.

Accessible Education Center:
– Students working with the Accessible Education Center(AEC) are encouraged to contact them with questions about disability related access and accommodations, or to schedule a remote appointment by phone (541) 346-1155, email or via an online form. Information related to accessibility issues will be updated regularly.

– The AEC Accessible Technology program is also available to students with questions about assistive technologies and accessible course formats via

One Stop
-One Stop provides you with 24-hour access to information to help you be successful. Look here first for help with registration and classes, advising and academic support, financial aid and billing, housing and dining, wellness and safety, equity and diversity support, campus life, and career advice.

International Students:
-For resources specific to international students, go to


The Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the diverse experiences of women in both national and international contexts. The Department also examines the meaning of gender as a socially constructed category that shapes personal identities, beliefs, opportunities, and behaviors. The wide range of classes explores the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality; the institutional structures that have an impact on women’s and men’s lives; and the broad range of feminist theory that seeks to explain and influence women’s status in society. Among the areas of emphasis in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies are gender and sexuality, queer studies, third world feminism, cultural representation and literature, women and labor, feminist theory, critical race feminism, immigration and citizenship, and social activism.

Core and affiliated faculty in the Department come from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including history, literature, anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies, ethnic studies, philosophy, religious studies, architecture and fine arts, music, romance and Germanic languages, political science, public policy, and law.

The Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers students:

  • Unique opportunities to participate in internships in the community and to pursue individual research projects;
  • Ability to engage in participatory learning and teaching experiences in feminist pedagogy seminars and as discussion facilitators for the introductory class; and
  • Close interaction with faculty, individualized guidance and advising, and courses that prepare them for employment and/or further education in graduate schools or professional schools of law, medicine, teaching, or social work.

Congratulations to WGSS Professor Judith Raiskin for Herman Award, Faculty Research Mentor Award and Williams Fund Award

Herman Award for Specialized Pedagogy

Faculty Research Mentor Award from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Engagement

Williams Fund Award for Eugene Lesbian History Project

Professor Raiskin’s work in the College of Arts and Sciences is around post-colonial literature and cultural studies, and focuses on gender and comparative feminist theory,