Feb 092006
Authors: Drew Haugen

The upcoming Women's Conference is an opportunity for all students to learn more about the challenges women face locally and around the globe, according to the Office of Women's Programs and Studies Web site, the office that sponsors the event.

The Women's Conference is designed to empower students with the knowledge, skills and relationships needed to build successful lives and communities.

"We all have women in our lives that we love and that are important to us, and we need to examine the issues of gender and how it impacts our behavior," said Ryan Barone, project coordinator of the Office of Women's Programs and Studies' Men's Project.

"The purpose of the Women's Conference is two-pronged; firstly, we need to understand the dynamics that allow gender violence to thrive and how they effect our behavior," Barone said. "And secondly, we need to learn how to deconstruct the gender box in which we are socialized."

The Women's Conference, which will include sessions that range in topic from "An Emotional Self-Defense-Course" to "Women's Leadership: A New Definition of Power," is an educational session-based format, with presenters ranging from students to university administration and leaders.

Both females and males are encouraged to participate in the Conference, and the experience can be especially rewarding for men who participate.

"Men who go to the conference can expect to be a gender minority, and it is a privilege and an honor to be a minority where gender is visible," Barone said. "It is important to experience being a gender minority, because gender is often invisible for men.

"A man can expect to be instantly aware of his gender and to learn a lot about how gender operationalizes at the Women's Conference."

Barone said it is important for men to attend the conference and begin or continue along the path of understanding and changing the dynamics of gender that lead to gender violence and allow it to thrive.

The Women's Conference will be held Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lory Student Center. Registration forms for the Women's Conference can be collected at the Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Office in room 176 of the Lory Student Center and at the Office of Women's Programs and Studies in room 112 of the Student Services building.

A complete list of conference programs and a downloadable registration form can be found on the Office of Women's Programs and Studies Web site: http://wps.colostate.edu

The deadline for registration is Monday, and the registration fee is $10. Acceptable forms of payment include cash and check. Checks should be made out to "Colorado State University." Scholarships are available for anyone who would like to attend the conference but cannot afford the registration fee.

Drew Haugen can be reached at regional@collegian.com

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