My name is Meleani Bates, I am an Intern at the Dean of Student Life office. This is my second term with the lovely DOSL team, and I am having a blast. I am a fourth year here at OSU studying Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. I also work at ASOSU- the Associated Students of Oregon State University as the Executive Chief of Staff. Working with DOSL has provided me with an amazing opportunity to multiply my opportunities to serve and support the greater OSU community.
Fall term I worked closely with Kim McAloney, Student Life Programs Coordinator, and Mamta Accapadi, Dean of Student Life to develop the WS 430/530- Women of Color in the U.S course that Mamta is teaching this term. This term I am Mamta’s Teaching Assistant for the course. Last term I spent the majority of my time accumulating readings that are currently used in the course this term. Besides developing an APA formatted Bibliography, creating a reading landscape was one of my favorite activities of fall term at DOSL.
I was able to get hands on experience with forming and developing a course reading list. Kim, Mamta and I spent many days researching readings by women of color, reading and scanning our expanding library of literature. At one point, all three of us had merged our libraries together to increase our likelihood of finding remarkable and transformative readings that would tailor to the reading landscape that we began to cultivate.
As I had rapidly progressed through fall term and stumbled upon winter term, I noticed that the anticipation for the start of the Women of Color course had developed. As we are in the 7th week of winter term, I can see all of the hard work that Kim, Mamta and I have put forth come to fruition. This task first started off as a project and WS internship, and has transpired to be a passion of mine.
As a Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies major I am aware that there are some intersections that can be made between the two disciplines. It is very important to me that there are courses that highlight, embrace and incorporate the lived experiences of women of color in the Women’s Studies pedagogy. Intersectionality theory suggests that there are various ways in which people can interact with society based on their own social location and identity. This is the framework that I live by in the classroom. It is vital that I engage fellow students in the reading, challenge them in their privileged and ethnocentric ideals and deepen the discussions in class. As an aspiring professor, this experience has been challenging and revolutionary in many ways.
This course is taught as an undergraduate and graduate course in Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies. In the class there are many perspectives that enrich our discussions, and provoke change and affirmations. I value and appreciate difference, in the same regards that I value and appreciate collective ideologies that revolve around feminist ideals. In this class, from my perspective, there seems to be a unifying effort put forth that allows us to merge in a cohesive direction toward social justice and understanding. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the class unfolds. Stay Tuned J