Sac State plans to offer new LGBTQ minor for students

The new minor is set to take effect during the 2019-2020 academic year


Souvanna Jarvis - The State Hornet

The Pride and Women’s Resource Center is a place on campus where students can go for more information about identity and sexuality. A LGBTQ Studies minor is in the works and is planned for the 2019-2020 school year.

Sacramento State is set to offer a new option for students during the 2019 academic year: a minor in LGBTQ studies.

Students who declare the minor will be presented with the opportunity to study topics in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives, according to a proposal to Sac State’s faculty senate.

The proposal, which still must be approved by the university’s administration, was written and pushed by one of Sac State’s women’s studies professors, Tristan Josephson.

Josephson, an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s studies, said the university has considered bringing the minor on for a few years, but needed someone to take control and to develop courses.

Cory Jaynes – The State Hornet
Required and elective courses in the proposed LGBTQ studies minor.

“I was hired by the Department of Women’s studies in 2014 to develop more courses in the field of LGBTQ studies for the department and to facilitate the development of an interdisciplinary LGBTQ studies minor,” Josephson said in an email to The State Hornet. “My own research is in trans and queer studies, so I have the necessary background to develop and facilitate the minor.”

According to the proposal, the LGBTQ minor will allow students to familiarize themselves with and learn about topics such as sexuality and gender “from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.”

Proposed minors, or any proposed program, must go through a process to be approved which includes being voted on by the faculty senate, according to Jose Arias-Ruiz, vice president of academic affairs for Associated Students, Inc. and a member of the faculty senate.

Arias-Ruiz said the program is an important step for the university, as not a lot of other California State Universities offer such a minor.

“It’s important to offer a career path for LGBTQ individuals and help educate others on queer and trans issues,” Arias-Ruiz said. “With an increase in demands, this is a perfect way to showcase the diversity efforts of the university [by] having this minor on our campus.”

Arias-Ruiz said the benefits of the minor include awareness and empowerment of the LGBTQ community along with helping students ‘understand people’s experiences and the difference between gender and sexuality.”

Eighteen total units are required for students who wish to receive a minor in LGBTQ studies, with six units being required core courses and 12 units dedicated to elective courses.

“Coursework will enable students to understand sexuality and gender as identities, social statuses, and categories of knowledge,” Josephson said. “The minor will provide students with awareness of sexual and gender diversity and how sexuality intersects with and informs other categories of identity and practice, such as race, class, ethnicity, age and diversity.”

Some Sac State students said they were glad to know that the minor was on the table and being worked on.

“I think that it’s a great idea to offer LGBTQ as a minor at Sac State,” said communications major Edgar Ramirez. “It can offer some insight on a subject that some people dismiss or not even know much about.”

Arjudeep Kaur, a nutrition major, said she thinks the LGBTQ studies minor is an opportunity for students to become more familiar with the community and topic.

“I think an LGBTQ minor would be a great way for people to eliminate misconceptions they hold and learn more about the community because more and more people are opening up and accepting the community,” Kaur said.

Josephson said students from any major are welcome to declare the minor, but said that those majoring in humanities and social sciences may be more inclined to show an interest as well as those wanting to learn more about their own sexuality and gender identity.

For those interested in the minor, Josephson said they can start taking courses now and once the minor is set, can declare LGBTQ studies as their minor.

Students who want more information on the LGBTQ studies minor can contact Tristan Josephson.