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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Representation on college boards


The lack of female diversity in positions of power

On the St. Joe’s board of 35 trustees, 7 are women. And the chair of the board, Edward J. Moneypenny, graduated from St. Joe’s in 1964, only six years before the school started admitting women.

Moreover, the liaison to the board of trustees has told The Hawk while they are seeking to diversify the board, one of their main goals is also to seek Jesuits and alumni to fill positions.

It has been 49 years now since women have been allowed into this university, and there has not been enough progress in promoting women to positions of power. It is challenging to place female alumni in these positions on the board, considering this school has hardly made it to 50 years as a co-educational institution.

Even as a co-educational institution, there are obviously deep ties to the Catholic Church—another sector of life in which women do not operate at high level positions.

Now, we cannot reverse thousands of years of Catholicism. We understand Catholicism has a history that places women to the side in terms of filling positions of power. But as a Jesuit institution that upholds a mission of inclusion and social justice, we should accept that history and move forward from it.

Our mission of social justice should come before the traditional gender norms of our Catholic roots; becoming a co-educational institution was just the first step.

In order to support women at this university, we should start where representation is significantly lacking. The board of trustees needs to accurately represent the student body, which is now over 50% women. Having under 20% of the board seats filled by women is unacceptable.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#cecece” txt_color=”#000000″]All women at this school deserve respect. They deserve and have every right to hold a position of power. They deserve to be here. [/mks_pullquote]

Representing women at the higher levels sets the tone for the rest of the university community to respect all women who attend. Not just white women, but women of color, queer women, transgender women and all women of this community are welcome here and deserve proper respect and representation.

Putting women in power at higher levels would set an example in promoting an inclusive environment that values not only those in administrative positions, but also female professors, housekeepers, maintenance workers and students.

As we work to diversify our positions of power at this university, we must work to do the same at our level in the community. We cannot change the makeup of the board of trustees in one night, but we can do things at a local level while we try and confront underrepresentation at the top.

There are many ways this community could support the female population here in order to put them in better positions to succeed. For starters, the visibility and upkeep of the Women’s Center on campus needs to be better maintained. Menstrual products should be available in all public bathrooms across the university free of any costs. We need more than one gynecologist on this campus to help women with their health concerns. And the list continues.

Promoting inclusion and diversity involves making sure women of all backgrounds and at all levels feel welcome on this campus. All women at this school deserve respect. They deserve and have every right to hold a position of power. They deserve to be here.

As individuals, let us each promote gender inclusivity in our own lives, and as a community, let us use our voices and strength in numbers to encourage the upper-levels of this school to have a diverse group of women in positions of power represent this student body.

—The Editorial Board


This week’s Editorial Board is comprised of the Digital Managing Editor, Special Projects Editor, Assistant News Editor, Copy Chief, Copy Editor, Photo Editor, Assistant Opinions Editor, and Opinions Editor. This editorial reflects the views of the Board and not the entire Hawk staff.

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