The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV Center for Women and Gender Equity events cater to student wellbeing

GVL | Alena Visnovsky

Grand Valley State University Center for Women and Gender Equity (CWGE) recently held its “X-treme hip-hop” event. This event and others scheduled throughout the rest of the semester aim to create community at GVSU. 

Students gathered to participate in aerobic step fitness to hip-hop music, a combo called X-treme hip-hop. Guest and instructor, Danay Tibbs also known as Strawberry, led the group through the routine at the front of the room as students behind them followed keeping up with the pace and movements. 

“X-treme hip-hop is a high-energy, high-impact cardio form of exercise using step boards and of course hip music. Philip (Weeden) the creator of (X-treme hip hop) started this form of movement to save his own life as he batted depression. It was therapeutic to him,” said Lariesha Lee, the assistant director of CWGE.

Additionally, Lee said this event had many benefits for participants.

The purpose (of the event) was to increase a sense of community and belonging for our students. Promote healing and well-being as we get to the end of the semester. Something that is lighthearted and less formal,” Lee said. “(We wanted to) partner with a local WOC (women of color) entrepreneur to bring diverse forms of fitness and programming to GVSU.”

CWGE strives to reach its goals of both educating and advocating for gender justice in the GVSU community. Lee said other goals the center has for the GVSU community include working to create meaningful learning experiences about gender and intersectionality as well as using the center as a place where students can advocate for gender justice through education engagement and empowerment. 

According to the center’s website, they also offer “Femme Film Fridays,” where films are shown at the center showcasing topics ranging from feminism and gender justice to socioeconomic status, among others. 

“The goal of these showings is to focus on how various topics and genres interact with gender, what CWGE is most excited about is fostering an environment where conversation can be held in a relaxed and comfortable setting,” Lee said. 

Another program the center has is NIARA where discussions take place for those who identify as a woman of color. According to the center’s website, “NIARA meetings aim to foster community among students of shared lived experiences who are seeking a sense of belonging and purpose.”

Apart from these programs within the center, they also have other events such as “Black and Gold Table Talk” that discuss the subject of domestic violence and bring awareness to survivors and allies of this cause. As mentioned, one of the goals of the center is to educate and bring attention to important topics like this. 

One upcoming event the center is hosting is a “Stress Less Week” with events throughout the week of Dec. 4 through Dec. 8 to help students get through the week of finals. 

“We hope that the attendees enjoyed themselves and maybe even were exposed to something new and out of their norm,” Lee said.

Students looking for more information on these upcoming events can visit the CWGE Laker Link Page 

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