Story by Katie Ericson
While the Activity Fair has already passed, some new organizations are still being formed.
Just recently, junior Domenic Lamberti started the group Men for Gender Equality.
Though the organization has only been official for a little over a week, Lamberti already has plans for the group.
His inspiration for the group came from a Critical Race and Feminist Theory class last spring. The class brought up many issues that struck Lamberti.
“In this course, we looked at similar groups that sought to open a forum for discussion about what it means to be a man and the role men can take in sexual violence prevention, specifically,” Lamberti said.
The class inspired Lamberti to take these issues outside of the classroom and get students involved. One of the students he approached was senior Adam Riesselman, who was immediately interested. Riesselman explained that he does not agree with the way women are treated in American culture.
“There’s a large disparity between the ethics we teach people about how to respect women and the daily interactions we have with people on the weekend and in free time,” Riesselman said. “We’re still a hook-up culture.”
To address this issue, Lamberti wanted to create a group where students can discuss this problematic issue and possible solutions for it.
“I hope to create an environment at our future meetings where men and women on Drake’s campus can come and talk about what we should be asking of our men in these areas,” Lamberti said.
Director and Associate Professor of law politics and society Renee Cramer is advising the new organization.
She teaches the class that inspired Lamberti and is a strong supporter of human rights and gender equality.
Together, Lamberti and Cramer are working to address gender issues in our society.
“An end to a culture of rape starts when men take responsibility for the ways that dominant male culture can perpetuate views of women, of sex and of masculinity that make it difficult to challenge gender inequity and gender violence,” Cramer said.
The main way Lamberti and Cramer plan to bring these topics to students’ attention is by leading conversations between students about gender equality issues. Everyone will be allowed to speak and have his or her voice be heard.
“Additionally, we hope to continue to host discussion nights about topics relevant to male gender equality activism, and in the future we will be utilizing faculty led discussion nights in order to bring in interested individuals outside the group,” Lamberti said.
Cramer stresses the importance of discussion in this group: “A single conversation isn’t sufficient, that we need a sustained set of conversations and activities around issues that are important on campus.”
The group is just starting but is determined to make a difference in the treatment of women at Drake.
The first discussion will be on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 8:30 p.m. in the Pomerantz Conference Room in Lower Olmsted.