Gender Studies Symposium wraps up after a ‘playful’ three days

By Emma Grillo///Features Editor

Game On! Gender and Sexuality in Play, this year’s Gender Studies Symposium wrapped up Friday after three days of panels, discussions and speeches. The annual symposium traditionally chooses a topic each year around which to focus panelists and presentations.

“Last year was like a really intense theme… and so we just thought it would be really cool to switch it up, talk about play, fun, humor,” said Alexa Jakusovsky ’16, one of the co-chairs for this year’s symposium.

This was a deliberate choice in an attempt to open the Symposium up to everyone on campus, even those who might not initially be inclined to attend a symposium dealing with gender and sexuality.

“We think that [play] as a topic, as a theme, is really accessible to a lot of people who don’t normally engage with Gender Studies,” Jakusovsky said.

This year, students were able to engage more individually with the symposium through fun activities like a bingo game, where by collecting stamps from attending events and having a social media presence, students can play to win gift cards to She Bop or VIP passes to Rose City Rollers.

As the symposium came to a close, the co-chairs had some time to reflect on what the year long planning process has meant to them.

“I feel like personally it’s been a highlight because… Gender Studies isn’t a major here but it’s the thing that I’m most personally excited about in my Lewis & Clark College experience… It has been the equivalent like for me of a thesis or a capstone,”Jakusovsky said.

As the symposium came to a close, Jakusovsky was looking forward to the final keynote presentation from D’Lo, a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American interdisciplinary artist in Council Chamber.

D’Lo is “in the comedy industry… changing things,” Jakusovsky said, who introduced D’Lo on Friday.

On a campus noticeably absent of a Gender Studies major, the Gender Studies Symposium has a large presence, drawing significant student involvement and community engagement.

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