Hello and welcome to our exhibit! Our names are Sam Turner and Nikki Edgerton, two recent graduates of Ohio State's Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department.
After our time in Dr. Mytheli Sreenivas' "History of Feminist Thought" course in the Spring of 2018, we were excited to dig deeper into archival research and Ohio State's history. Another student of Dr. Sreenivas, Allison Bolam, had started a fascinating project on the history of the Women's Self Government Association on campus, tracing the rise and fall of the group and its lasting impact on OSU student leadership today.
With a shared interest in the status of women students at the University, we created this exhibit to showcase what it meant to be involved in the Women's Self Government Association throughout the years. While the group was once the singular governing body of women students on campus and recognized as one of the United States' leading programs, it eventually morphed into a feminist programming board, offering social events and opportunities for students, before disbanding altogether in the 1970's.
In our research, we were looking to answer questions surrounding the "why?" and "how?" of WSGA. The exhibit will guide you through archival materials that will answer some of these inquiries, beginning with WSGA's founding and early success, then moving through criticism of the group and the resulting shift in WSGA's politics and goals.
Today, women students are welcomed into Ohio State's general leadership organizations and feminist programming takes place in a variety of student groups and departments. A look back at the experiences of women on campus throughout the last century is useful in both recognizing the progress that has been made and imagining future possibilities for all students.
We hope you enjoy the exhibit!
Sam and Nikki
We'd also like to acknowledge the contributions made by Allison Bolam, whose initial project on the WSGA inspired this exhibit. Her writing and source material has been utilized as a framework for some of the exhibit's pages and we are grateful for her involvement in this work.