The Gender & Women’s Studies Department at CSUN emphasizes interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and transnational studies with a focus on gender.
It includes course work in feminist theories, women and social movements, transnational feminisms, women of color feminisms, decolonial and postcolonial feminisms, women’s economic conditions in the context of globalization and development, productions of women in the media and literature, queer studies, women’s health and masculinity studies.
The major and minor provide a background for various careers such as law, counseling and healthcare or advanced graduate degrees in fields such as Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, education, communication, political, cultural and media studies.
Statement on the Revised Executive Order 1100 from the Chairs and Coordinators in AFRS, AIS, AAS, CAS, CHS and GWS
The Department Chairs and Coordinators of Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Central American Studies, Chicano/a Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) emphatically reject the revision of the Executive Order 1100 (EO 1100), which was released by the California State University Chancellor’s Office (CO) Wednesday, August 23, 2017.
EO 1100 eviscerates CSUN’s unique and exemplary Section F “Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages,” denying CSUN students an education based on cultural competency and respect for diversity. It flagrantly undermines the autonomy of CSUN’s Faculty Governance and demonstrates disdain toward the democratic consultation processes, as well as contempt towards our Departments and Programs that are deeply affected by EO 1100. The rationale provided by the CO was General Education (GE) consistency across the CSU system and CSU portability to respond to the alleged high transfer rates of students within the CSU system. No hard evidence was presented that such high rates of transfer exist making EO 1100 drastic and unjustifiable.
We collectively resist and reject this violation of Faculty Consultation and Governance. These proposed changes reinforce the already profound divisions that exist in our society. Whereas K-12 education recognizes a need for "cultural competency" amongst its students and moves to implement "diversity requirements" (AB 2016 Ethnic Studies in 2016; FAIR Education Act in 2012), and whereas other CSU and UC campuses are also considering adopting similar requirements for taking critical race/ethnicity/gender/sexuality/deaf/disability studies courses, the CO moves us backward. EO 1100 also contradicts the findings of the CSU Task Force on the Advancement of Ethnic Studies (2016) that recommends to Chancellor White:
- Establish a system wide GE requirement in Ethnic Studies (which includes Gender and Women Studies and Queer/LGBT Studies), to better prepare students as democratic global citizens.
- “Aid in fostering and creating a climate conducive to reaffirming ethnic studies’ central role in diversity and equity initiatives as they relate to people of color.”
- Build on and expand best practices by providing and supporting appropriate resources, policies and programmatic initiatives.
- “Maintain the moratorium on any negative changes to ethnic studies departments and programs during the period of review, discussion and response to this report.”
More blatantly, EO 1100 thwarts the CSU 2025 graduation initiative. The graduation initiative’s data demonstrates that student graduation rates are higher when students feel a sense of belonging, and when the classes being offered reflect their own personal experiences and histories. EO 1100 undermines all the current efforts being implemented on our campus to achieve higher graduation rates. While the administration on the CSUN campus has negotiated with the CO, without the participation of faculty, a mechanism whereby we shift all the Section F requirements (138 courses) to Sections C or D, we are not persuaded by this concession because it still will have negative effects on our departments.
Given our current social and political climate and the demographics of California, we need to continue to resist attacks on historically excluded peoples on the basis of race, gender, sex, and sexuality, and to support departments and programs that protect and empower our communities.
We choose to fight to maintain Section F of the GE Requirements because CSUN’s Section F Requirement recognizes and makes visible and tangible the interdisciplinary character of our academic fields, as well as its indispensable contribution to a democratic and culturally diverse society. Section F makes CSUN a leader in diversity and social justice issues at a time when ethical and critical thinking is most desperately needed.
- We demand the repeal of the revised EO 1100, dated August 23, 2017, to prevent unnecessary harm to our students, departments and programs.
- We demand the implementation of recommendations made by the CSU Task Force on the Advancement of Ethnic Studies (Crucially, the GE diversity requirements that can be taken in ethnic studies, gender and women’s studies, LGBTQI+ studies, deaf studies, and disability studies), and the adherence, and continuation of the moratorium that protects us from harmful policies.
- We demand that the cost/benefit analysis that was used to rationalize the revised EO 1100 be transparent and made public.
- We demand that CSUN’s GE Requirements, Section F remain intact and become the model for the rest of the CSU System.
- We demand that the College of Humanities and the College of Social Behavioral Sciences defend our departments and programs in our efforts to keep Section F intact.
- We demand from the President and the Provost of CSUN to stand behind us and be consistent with the Mission, Values and Vision of CSUN, and to keep Section F intact.
- We invite others to join us in the fight against this revised EO 1100.
The Original Co-Authors:
Africana Studies Department Chair
Theresa White, Ph.D.
American Indian Studies Coordinator
Brian Burkhart, Ph.D.
Asian American Studies Department Chair
Gina Masequesmay, Ph.D.
Central American Studies Department Chair
Douglas Carranza, Ph.D.
Chicano Studies Department Chair
Gabriel Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Gender and Women’s Studies Department Chair
Breny Mendoza, Ph.D.