A Queer Studies minor is in the process of being approved at Cal Poly for Fall 2017.

The minor, proposed in part by a Queer Studies Working Group (QSWG), would be integrated into the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) Department in order to well-represent the LGBTQIAP+ community across campus.

“When you look at the voices being represented in the curriculum at Cal Poly, you see a big gap in queer voices,” said Klepfer, who is the Queer Student Union (QSU) president and part of the QSWG. “It’s about including voices and perspectives, which is really important to a polytechnic education.”

Robert E. Kennedy fought against the formation of a Gay Student Union while he was the Cal Poly president in the ‘70s, and the existing QSU was not established until 2015.

Klepfer and Bruckner brought the idea of the minor to the WGS Department in 2015, and have worked with the department and faculty to make it happen.

“I think that the university needs to be able to offer curriculum that’s relevant for our students and also for society,” Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathleen Enz Finken said. “It’s our duty as educators to provide opportunities for students.”

The process of adding new curriculum starts through a program, department or college. Faculty comes together to create a proposal to submit to a College Curriculum Committee (CCC). The minor is currently being discussed in the CLA CCC.

The committee then decides if the proposal will move on to the Senate Curriculum Committee (SCC) with any edits it sees fit.

At that point, the SCC can pass or deny the opinion of the CCC, or pull the proposal. In this case, the SCC debates whatever issues are prevalent and will decide whether the curriculum will pass or not.

This process can take multiple years and requires many faculty members to finalize.

The minor requires six classes to complete. It consists of mainly general education courses. This will bring more traffic to the classes, as students who are not taking the minor can still gain something out of taking them.

Not only do students gain course credits, but the Queer Studies minor and the resulting classes also benefit the student on a much deeper level Academic Senate Chair Gary Laver said.

“(The minor) would definitely raise the bar with campus awareness,” Laver said. “It’s one of the many human stories that needs to be
brought forward.”

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Kennedy denied a QSU, and that the current QSU was formed in 2014. It also incorrectly stated that Klepfer and Mick Bruckner proposed the minor. They are, in fact, part of the QSWG but did not personally propose it.

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