A new minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer studies was recently added to the academic pool at UCSB.
The university officially sanctioned the LGBTQ minor last week, and students can sign up for it immediately. Overseen by the Women’s Studies program, the minor’s required classes range from women’s studies courses to English classes. Erin Pullin, UCSB alumna and assistant to the director of the Resource Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, was a student organizer who worked to get a LGBTQ minor on the books three years ago. Pullin said she is excited about the new minor.
“It’s going to be a really positive thing for students on campus because it will give students in interdisciplinary studies a chance to study this and it will give others the opportunity to study this as a minor,” she said.
In its first week of availability, 12 students have signed up for the minor, said Rebecca Chapman, undergraduate advisor for the Women’s Studies programs.
“I think it shows that students really want this [minor],” she said.
The Women’s Studies 80 course is a prerequisite for entrance into the minor, Chapman said. Following its completion, students would have to meet three levels of requirements. The Level A requirement states that students must enroll in Women’s Studies 162, LGBTQ Studies. Level B is a humanities requirement in which students can choose from a range of classes, such as an English course with an emphasis on queer literature. The final Level C requirement deals with sexuality and gender.
People in the Women’s Studies program contributed heavily to minor’s availability, Pullin said.
“I think it’s a really amazing thing for the students who’ve been involved in getting it,” Pullin said. “The Women’s Studies [program] has spent a lot of time and did a lot of research to make sure this happened and it was done right.”
The push for a LGBTQ minor at UCSB started during student walkouts in 1998, Chapman said.
“It took a long time,” Chapman said. “It started out seven years ago with students and the Women’s Studies program saying they wanted an LGBTQ minor.”
Pullin also enlisted the help of faculty members to aid in the minor’s approval.
“We interviewed faculty to gain support and wrote a paper to give to the Women’s Studies [program] about the proposal,” she said.
Although Chancellor Yang supported the minor, Chapman said, it was faculty and staff members who have kept pushing.
“Yang signed off on it in 1998, but when it came down to it, had certain faculty members and Student Affairs officers not stepped in and take reign of this, we might still be waiting,” Chapman said. “It just goes to show that the students can demand it and the chancellor can sign off on it, but it took seven years for it to happen. Students just have to be persistent.”