University creates LGBT minor

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences established a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies last week, after student leaders lobbied the University for over a year to create the discipline.

Dan Moshenberg, the director of the Women’s Studies Program which houses the minor, said the curriculum was passed after a multi-disciplinary group of faculty came forward with the proposal more than a year ago. The formation of the minor paves the way for a major in the area to be established in two years.

“This has been a longstanding conversation,” Moshenberg said. “Professors from the psychology, American studies, writing department and many others help to bring this before the Columbian College.”

The curriculum will include a series of courses that focus on issues relating to the LGBT community, including “Transnational Film and LGBTQ Culture.”

Moshenberg said that students who hope to pursue a minor in the course of study can start taking classes this spring. Already-established courses will count toward the minor, and at least two GW seniors will be able to graduate with the minor on their transcript in May, he said.

Michael Komo, who is in a five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program, said that adding this minor to his curriculum will be beneficial for his future career goals.

“It will give me the tools necessary, along with my internships and LGBT activism in D.C. and at GW, to enable me to be as successful as possible as a lifelong LGBT activist,” Komo said.

Komo said he helped rally the creators of the minor over the past year by meeting with administrators and faculty members to pitch the proposal. As the director of GW’s Diversity Affairs Commission, Komo said this project has been a huge part of his mission for the fall.

“I am excited that future generations of GW students will be able to enhance their academic careers by pursuing this field of study,” Komo said.

Moshenberg acknowledge that without an effort by interested students, the program would not have gotten off the ground.

“In many ways this was generated by a group of students who’ve done a lot of hard work,” Moshenberg said.

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