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IPFW's Women's Studies Director Reacts To Election Results, IPFW Restructuring

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News
An educational board in the hallway of an IPFW building advertises the Women's Studies program.

The Women’s Studies department at IPFW isn’t having a great month. Many professors and students in the program were Hillary Clinton supporters, and they were hoping to see the first woman elected president of the United States.

Not only did their candidate lose to now-President-elect Donald Trump, the department is also one of the programs at IPFW facing elimination in the coming months.

Janet Badia is the director of Women’s Studies at IPFW. She says she was looking forward to seeing the first woman president. Badia teaches students about double standards between men and women and thinks this could have been a factor in Trump’s win.

“(Clinton) just has a higher bar to meet,” Badia said. “So all of her failings are amplified in a way that (Trump's) aren’t.”

Badia was upset by Clinton’s loss, and it comes at a time when she thinks IPFW is devaluing women’s studies.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that someone could look at a Women’s Studies program and think that it’s a luxury, that it’s a major we don’t need,” Badia said. “We need it now more than ever.”

IPFW says it’s restructuring the university to reallocate resources away from majors with few graduates, toward programs with higher demand. Some students will be able to finish their degree, while others will have to transfer to a different program or school.

According to an IPFW representative, 54 students graduated from the Women’s Studies department between 2011-2015. The College of Arts and Sciences saw 11,616 graduates between 2011-2015, so Women’s Studies makes up less than half a percent of that college’s graduates.

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