SAG Award Reflection - Spring 2018
Over the course of the spring 2018 semester, we organized the group independent study Explore: Our Identities in Context. Throughout this, we used resources (including the books we bought with the Student Academic Grant award) to assist us in our exploration of the systems that govern our society and contexts and how we fit into them. Explore touches on a wide set of topics- gender, race, sexuality, and how these identities, among others interact with systems of power. We believe and found in the class that discussing these topics and our social context made us more aware of our positionality, biases and responsibilities as engineers and citizens. Just touching on these topics help us to connect to each other and ourselves. We wanted to fit-in a brief moment with many of the issues we felt were under discussed at Olin. This is a lot to cover in a two credit class. It was extremely important that we back up these toe-dips of classes with great literature and further resources- it was amazing to be able to add the books to the Olin library that we felt supported our topics, students as well as the entire community. Many Olin students are seeking good information about sex and sexuality, having a library with trustworthy information about these issues is not only fulfilling this academically, but actively contributes to the health and wellbeing of our community. Making sure our library is stocked with essential African American and feminist literature helps to center those voices, that are sometimes absent on our campus. Having these books available to us during our structured exploration of these topics was really valuable. We hope and have begun to see, that making these sources available to all students through the library, provides other students with valuable resources to help them figure out their own exploration, of themselves as people, and citizens with engineering degrees.