Student social equality group reborn

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by SELBY FLYNN, for The Muleskinner—
A past student organization is on its way to making a comeback. Students Advocating Gender Equality, is being revamped and started up once again after not being an active group on campus for many years. SAGE promotes equality across the entire gender spectrum, as well as other types of social inequality.
The group is being built from scratch, starting with a new president and all new coordinators. SAGE’s president is transfer student Alex Engert, who just recently started attending UCM.
In fact, it was Engert who wanted to get the organization rolling again. Engert is a psychology major with a minor in women’s studies and anthropology, which is part of the reason why she is interested in bringing SAGE back to UCM.
“Having heard of the group, I came to campus wanting to get involved, but after some investigation, I learned that SAGE really didn’t seem to exist anymore,” Engert said. “I discussed this with Dr. Bradley and we decided we wanted to reform the group.”
Engert said she believes this equality group is very important for a college campus, especially after discovering some very startling statistics about rape and domestic violence involving college students, the LGBT community and many other social groups.
The main goal of SAGE is to raise awareness of gender issues and expand knowledge of race, class, gender and sexuality.
“I passionately believe in women’s studies and certainly in gender qquality, so this is a nice way for me to stay involved,” said Kristy Boney, an assistant professor of modern languages who was asked to be SAGE’s new faculty adviser.
Boney said she is very eager and hopeful that after a long hiatus, SAGE will become known again, and even better than before.
“There’s always been a SAGE group, but I think promotion was a bit of a problem,” Boney said.
“Students really didn’t know the possibility of such a group existing. There are so many activities that students can do, which is really great, but there is a lot of pick and choose when deciding what to be involved in. Mainly, it’s just an issue of exposure, and how we can go above and beyond to get students involved with us. It’s something we will have to address if we want SAGE to grow.”
Karen Bradley, associate professor of sociology, said that there SAGE has important ties to the  field of women’s studies, and not just for women.
“SAGE used to be just for woman scholars, but over time, it has spread to include both genders,” she said. “The purpose of the organization is to promote activities that focus on gender equity. Women’s studies has multiple kinds of interest, but gender equity is certainly one of the founding ideas.”
The department just recently changed their name to better promote those interests.
Starting next semester, it will be known as women, gender and sexuality studies,
“Apart from SAGE, we also offer a lot of support to the Queers and Allies group on campus and collaborate on many of the same issues with them as well,” Bradley said.
Both Boney and Bradley said they are impressed with Engert’s enthusiasm toward SAGE and are in the process of coordinating events and activities to promote and expose the group to campus.
So far, movie nights have been planned for current and potential SAGE members, as well as the discussion of more events with other campus organizations.
“With SAGE, we may shift our focus to a broader spectrum of inequality,” Engert said. “An integral part of this group is intersectionality, which is the crossover between many types of social inequalities. We look forward to developing SAGE based on the input of members, other campus groups, and current social issues.”
For more info on SAGE, contact Engert at [email protected]