Image courtesy of Waterstones

March 16, 2021    |   Volume 2, Issue 22

TOTD: Feminist and Queer Theory: A Healthy Partnership 

by Gigi Shannon, WSS Undergraduate Intern

Feminism and queer activism may seem like separate social movements: one advocating for women and the other advocating for individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community. However, like people, they are much more complex than that, and can be used together to advocate for everyone. Some people have even attempted to use this misunderstanding of who these movements are for to reverse the progress both movements have worked so hard to accomplish.
Queer theory and activism generally carry the theme of being against identity politics, that is, resenting the idea that rights should be fought for on the basis of one fixed identity. Queer theorists see identity, including gender identity, as being of a fluid nature (Barker, 2016, p. 28). Identities are something you experience, not a box that you’re put in. Queer theory also resists the idea of “normal” identities and embraces those that are traditionally othered. These traditionally normal identities are ones that are cis-normative, heteronormative, or neurotypical. Queer theory is representative of those who practice it in that it itself has no fixed identity or beginnings. There’s no linear history of queer theory as a concept (Barker 61). Because of this, it’s difficult to define if not speaking in general terms.
Feminism has a much more defined history which can be followed through the analogy of separate waves (which a queer theorist might in fact criticize for putting feminists into fixed categories). Here, I’ll focus on the intersectional feminism that our office advocates for in Women*s Student Services. This theory, which focuses on the complexities of individuals’ lived experience and how they’re effected by the simultaneous oppression of multiple identities (Patton, 2016, p. 30). Intersectional feminism incorporates intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, which is the notion that the intersection of two oppressed identities, particularly being black and a women, is more oppressive than both the racism and the sexism that person experiences (Crenshaw, 1989, p. 140).
These two theories can seamlessly work together, if you allow them to. One acknowledges that an individual possesses multiple identities, each influencing the other and how they shape the individual’s lived experiences. The other acknowledges the notion that an individual’s identity can change over time, and that many are abstract and socially constructed. Together, they reject the idea that oppression exists against one fixed identity in an individual.
Barker, Meg-John, and Julia Scheele. Queer: A Graphic History. Icon Books, 2016.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics," University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989: Iss. 1, Article 8.
Patton, Lori D., et. al. Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

Interested in sharing your own "Thought Of The Day" or TOTD? Come to WILD Wednesday or email us at

Have something to say in the WSS Weekly Zine? To submit an announcement, please email us.

In this edition of WSS Zine you'll find the following announcements...
  • Programs/Services:
    • Women's History Month Events 
    • WSS Crafternoon
    • WILD 2021 Planning Committee
    • WSS Online Office Hours 
    • SAS Student Survey *Amazon gift card drawing
    • Free Period Products at MSU Petition
    • Participants needed for a study of residual symptoms in cancer survivors
    • MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program Now Open!
    • Supporting Survivors Workshop
    • Writing Centers and Access: A Speaker Series 
    • Busy With Purpose
    • Extremism 101: Recognizing and Challenging Hate on Campus
    • “Gendered Racist Nativism Targeting Latina Immigrant Motherhood”- Mary Romero
    • Commuter and Off-Campus Student Appreciation Day
    • 25th Annual DEI Conference 
    • Transgender Day of Visibility Student Research Symposium 
    • My Spartan Story
    • COGS Monthly Yoga Series 
    • MSU Center for Survivors Spring Groups 2021 
    • MSU Adult Caregiver Affinity Group 
    • Beyond the binary: A gender identity spectrum support group
    • Empower U
    • Gender Identity and Attractionality 
    • Save the Date for UURAF!
    • CAPS Connect
  • Community Heath Concern Information
  • About Women*s Student Services
Post your announcement here by emailing


Post your event here by emailing
Join MSU Women*s Student Services in watching the 2021 LUNAFEST films, followed by a Zoom panel discussion with students, staff, & faculty. To claim your free ticket, go to our EventBrite page linked here. For more information on LUNAFEST, visit their website linked here


By signing up on the EventBrite page, you will receive an email the day of the event with a Vimeo link and password to view the short films. You may watch anywhere within a 48 hour window. There will be a synchronous Zoom panel held by the staff of Women*s Student Services, featuring voices from the MSU students, staff and faculty.

The suggested schedule for the event is:

6:30-8:00PM EST - Watch the short films via the Vimeo link

8:00-9:00PM EST - Join the Zoom webinar for the panel discussion

                             Trailer for LUNAFEST 2021

What is Women’s History Month?

Women’s History Month is an annual occurrence every March. We at MSU have created a collaboration across many offices, departments, and groups to gather all events created to highlight Women’s History Month. In our use of “women” we recognize that gender is complex. We are all more than just our gender - we are comprised of intersecting identities that are grounded in history and our lived experience that goes beyond the gender binary. We celebrate this month because of the past and present existence of systemic gender oppression that impacts women  as well as others who exist differently regarding the gender construct. The involved in the creation of Women’s History Month are Women*s Student Services, the LBGT Resource Center, Prevention Outreach and Education, GenCen, TransAction, Womxn’s Council, Alliance, Transcend, Planned Parenthood Generation Action, ASMSU, James Madison College, Womxn of Color Community, Undergraduate Research, and the Work Life Office. All of these offices, departments and groups came together to create programming for all Spartans to celebrate the history of womxn, and we hope you will join us at some of the events listed above!

All of the events are held by different offices across campus. If you have questions about a specific event, please contact the office hosting that event.

Links to our events can be found here

Join Women*s Student Services on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 7 PM EST for Crafternoons and Communitea! We will be making friendship bracelets. Hope to see you there!

Sign up here and select your colors!
*Sign up closed Sunday, March 14th. Keep an eye out for our next Crafternoon date!

Along with all the staff of Student Affairs & Services, the staff of WSS is currently working remotely. We are available to meet virtually one on one via Zoom. To sign up to meet with either Heather (Director) or Gabby (Graduate Assistant), please click the links below.

To meet with Dr. Heather Shea, click on this link to go to her You Can Book Me Page to sign up for a time slot.

To meet with Gabby Wahla, click on this link to go to her You Can Book Me Page to sign up for a time slot.
Please check your emails for the survey from Student Affairs and Services. You will be entered into a drawing to win an Amazon gift card. The survey will close on March 19th.  
At Michigan State University, items such as condoms and toilet paper are free and widely accessible. But period products are not. This budgeting choice is discriminatory, and Pad the Mitten is collecting names and emails of MSU students to show support for their bill that will be proposed to ASMSU. If you support their cause, please fill out this form.

Participants needed for a study of residual symptoms in cancer survivors 

We are looking for participants who are 1-3 years post-chemotherapy/radiation for breast cancer
You will be asked to:

  • Use a home-based therapeutic light intervention 
  • Participate in a sleep study with 3 overnight stays in a sleep center

(All study-related activities can be completed in 3 weeks) 

You could receive up to $200 if you complete all study activities. 

For more information, please call 517-884-4646 or email  

The Center for Survivors and the MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program are so excited to announce that the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program is now open! 

The program provides trauma-informed, inclusive and accessible healthcare services to individuals who have experienced a sexual assault within the last 5 days. Services are free and confidential and available to any adult (students, faculty, staff, OR community members who are not affiliated with MSU).

Key points about the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program:  

  • The healthcare program is open 24/7 with nursing staff on site
  • The program is located on the 2nd floor of student services building. There is designated parking on Farm Lane marked “Sexual Assault Healthcare Program”
  • Advocates from the Center for Survivors are available to provide support, resources, and follow-up.
  • Patients seeking services can show up at any time or call ahead (517-353-2700)

For more information, watch this news story from WLNS:

Please join the Writing Center beginning February 4, 1-2 PM EST for the Writing Center and Access: A Speaker Series. The series will include topics that will be very helpful to students and faculty in their research. 



Busy With Purpose: Lessons for Educators and Policy Leaders from Returning Student Parents report from the  Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). It details the need for supporting student parents' postsecondary attainment success along with recommendations to enhance their experience.
Student Parents Speak Listening Panel in collaboration with IWPR (keynote), Lansing Community College, and the Capital Area College Access Network. Student parents from MSU and LCC will offer their testimonials on the challenges and supports they need as student parents. 
Zoom Webinar on March 17th, 3pm EST 
Passcode: 291835

Receiving a disclosure can feel intimidating if you don’t know how best to respond. What do we say? What do we not say? Most importantly, how can we build trust and help empower survivors and create a survivor-centered campus and community?


This workshop will give participants a background on sexual violence dynamics and discuss different tools that can be used when responding to disclosures and supporting survivors. Topics will include: active listening, believing survivors, busting myths, and supportive communication. Questions can be directed to Kathryn at

This workshop will include 4, 1 hour live sessions that will each focus on different topics. We highly recommend attending each session. This workshop will be held over zoom facilitated by MSU Center for Survivors staff. This workshop is open to any student, staff, or facility member at MSU. Spots are limited.



5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, March 24th

5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, March 31st

5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, April 7th

5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, April 14th


Click the link to register, spots are limited.

Fraternity & Sorority Life is excited to co-host the following event with the Michigan Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday, March 24th from 7pm – 8pm EST. This event is open to all.

Extremism 101: Recognizing and Challenging Hate on Campus

The current divisive climate in our country has given rise to different hate groups and their ability to recruit new members both in-person and online. Join the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Michigan team as we discuss current trends of hate on college campuses, and we examine ways to be proactive in stopping hate from escalating.  

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

March 24, 2021, 3PM

Register here

Co-Sponsored by Chicano/Latino Studies, ChiLA, Latino Law Society, MI ALMA, Migrant Student Services, MSU Broad Museum,
Our Work/Our Daily Lives, Residence Education and Housing Services

 Commuter and Off-Campus Student Appreciation Day on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021 from 12 pm to 3pm(EST). The event will be hosted via the zoom. Please click here for more information and to get the zoom link:

Please stop by Campbell’s Market Basket, Georgio’s Pizza(Charles Street location only), and Sushiya for an opportunity to purchase lunch at a discounted price. You may also purchase lunch on campus. Please click the following link for more information on campus meal locations:

Commuter/Off-Campus Student Appreciation day will feature an opportunity to network with other commuter and off-campus students, win free give ways,  and get information on programs and services to meet the unique needs of Commuter and Off-Campus students. 

25th Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference
MAY 24 - 26, 2021 | VIRTUAL MEETING

This event served as a platform for exceptional practitioners to share their work and further discuss race, social justice, neurodiversity, women's health, disability, allyship, and others. The Conference Board, its partners, and the leaders who shared their stories can all justifiably be proud of contributing to creating more inclusive workplaces across North America.  

They invite you to join them on the essential journey to create workplaces committed to inclusion, equity, and belonging as they build on the momentum of this great event and design an all-new agenda for May. DEI professionals' work is never-ending, and they join with the community to create an event that addresses their most current challenges and celebrates their achievements.  

  Register now to join us live or to watch later on-demand.

For Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st, the LBGT Resource Center is hosting their first annual virtual Research Symposium! Check-in throughout the day and listen to talks from student researchers on trans and nonbinary gender identities in various fields of study. Their schedule of events and keynote speaker announcements are coming soon! The call for proposals from undergraduate, graduate, and professional students will remain open until March 8th at

Join COGS and Recreational Sports and Fitness Services for an evening yoga class to relax after a stressful few weeks! Monthly Yoga sessions are offered free of charge for graduate & professional students. The next session is on February 11th! See RSVP link below to register and receive link.  Invite your friends! All you need to participate is an open space, water, and a towel/mat.

  COGS 2021 Yoga Series:

6:45 pm- 7:45 pm EST via Zoom

April 8

RSVP Link  

This semester My Spartan Story is offering workshops for students and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)! Please see above for the workshop dates/times. Click on the image to sign-up and learn more information!

The Adult Caregivers Affinity Group (focusing on caregivers of adult/elders) has meetings the fourth Thursday of the each month from 12-1pm via Zoom. This is a place for Spartans to connect and share information on topics such as how to start conversations on living situation changes, higher levels of care needed, caring for yourself as a caregiver, and making a home safe for a senior. 

What is an Affinity Group?

“An affinity group is a group of people linked by a common interest”.

Zoom link: 

Password: caregivers


This semester, MSU Center for Survivors will be providing various virtual groups via zoom listed below.

Community Connect
Community Connect is a drop-in support group on Wednesdays from 12-1 focused on building community & fostering connections among fellow survivors. Questions? Email Christie at  or Kimmins at Interested? Fill out this quick form

Healing Through Yoga!
Healing Through Yoga is a drop-in trauma-sensitive yoga practice to promote healing and wellness. Classes begin January 28th  and will be held on zoom on Thursdays from 1-2 PM. To register, fill out this form  and email with any questions!

The Next Chapter
Center for Survivors presents “The Next Chapter” Book Club. We'll be reading Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. Grab some coffee or tea and join us from 3pm-4:30, beginning Tuesday, February 9th, to learn more about how to ‘turn the page’ on your own burnout! Books will be provided. Registration Link:

Support survivors, learn more, and receive updates about MSU Center for Survivors by following their Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter.
Beyond the Binary: A gender identity spectrum support group.

This is a safer space for support for undergraduate and graduate students who are exploring or identify as transgender, gender fluid, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming.

Potential topics of discussion include challenges of coming out to self and others, identity development, limitations of labels, negotiating gendered environments, identity-affirming relationships, coping with minority stress and gender binary norms, accessing supportive health and social services, aspects of transitioning process, and adjustment to social identity, family dynamics, and impacts on wellness, needs and impact of being closeted, being TGNB at MSU.

All meetings will be held weekly via Zoom.
Registration required. Contact Ginny Blakely at for more information or to register.
Begins Jan. 28, ends April 22
Day/Time: Thursdays 3:30–5 p.m.
Facilitator: Ginny Blakely & Mike Evitts
Location: HIPAA Compliant Zoom
Empower U

Empower U is a virtual space for LGBTQIA+ graduate and undergraduate students of color to support and empower one another. Some themes of the group include relationships, self and community care, values exploration, intersectionality, self-compassion, family dynamics, navigating cultural expectations, and building resilience. All meetings will be held weekly over Zoom.

Group screening required. There will be a brief screening to see if the group is a good fit for you. For pre-screening, complete the CAPS Phone Request form and indicate your interest in Empower U.  Contact Olivia Scott at for more information.

Begins Jan. 22, Ends April 30
Day/Time: Friday 1–2 p.m.
Facilitator: Olivia Scott & Victor Leon
Location: HIPAA-compliant Zoom

*You can still join after the start date!
Gender Identity and Attractionality (GIAA) Undergrad

This support group for LGBTQ+ (including questioning) undergraduate students will address life and relational issues related to romantic and sexual attraction, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Topics are based on student interests and may include: exploring identity & identity development; trust and connections; dealing with heterosexism, cissexism, internalized homophobia and/or transphobia; dating and dating technology; attraction and romance; family dynamics; faith and identity; balancing academics with life; and intersectional identities. All meetings will be held weekly over Zoom.

Group screening required. For more information, screening, and registration, contact Victor Leon at The Zoom link will be given upon registration.

Begins Jan. 26, ends April 30
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 2–3 p.m.
Facilitators: Ginny Blakely and Victor Leon
Location: HIPAA-compliant Zoom
Gender Identity and Attractionality (GIAA) Grad

This support group for LGBTQ+ (including questioning) graduate students will address life and relational issues related to romantic and sexual attraction, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Topics are based on student interests and may include: exploring identity & identity development; trust and connections; dealing with heterosexism, cissexism, internalized homophobia and/or transphobia; dating and dating technology; attraction and romance; family dynamics; faith and identity; balancing academics with life; and intersectional identities. All meetings will be held weekly over Zoom.

Group screening required. For more information, screening, and registration, contact Victor Leon at The Zoom link will be given upon registration.

Begins Jan. 27, ends April 21
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 2–3:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Ginny Blakely and Victor Leon
Location: HIPAA-compliant Zoom
Save the date for the 2021 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF)!!! UURAF will take place between Thursday, April 15th and Monday, April 19th and will be hosted on a virtual platform. Abstract submissions will be accepted from January 12 to February 11, 2021. For more information about registration visit:

Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) Updates:

Beginning March 17, as a COVID-19 preventive measure, CAPS offices at Olin Health Center, MSU Student Union, and the Neighborhoods will be closed.

CAPS counseling and psychiatry staff will work remotely to help meet the needs of MSU students.

  • Established patients with scheduled appointments will be offered phone or Zoom sessions. Patients will be contacted and given instructions.
  • All group counseling services have been cancelled. Group co-leaders will reach out to students to discuss alternative options, such as phone consultations.

Patients needing a prescription refill prior to their next appointment can use the MyMSUHealth patient portal to make the request:

CAPS Phone (517-355-8270) will be set to a voice prompt with 3 options: (Press 1) To talk with a crisis counselor, (Press 2) to leave a message with the CAPS Nurse which will be responded to within one business day, or (Press 3) for general messages.

CAPS Connect sessions and Outreach Services are canceled through the spring semester.

Community Health Concern Information:

For students with health concerns and more information on COVID-19:

Students who are struggling to meet basic needs should reach out to the Greater Lansing Food Bank (

Students experiencing mental health crisis can  MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (517-355-8270).

About Women*s Student Services
Student Life: +1 517-355-8286
Voicemail: +1 517-432-7556

Contact us!
Director: Heather D. Shea, Ph.D. (she, her, hers)
Graduate Assistant: Gabby Wahla  (she, her, hers)

Visit us in the fall!
Interactive Campus Map
make a donation to WSS

Women*s Student Services (WSS) is committed to:

  • fostering inclusive conversations that explore topics of intersectional feminism

  • building collaborations and coalitions with other student services offices and other departments on campus,

  • supporting all students in working toward an empowering and equitable community for women-identified students at MSU, and aligning with the Division’s quality standards of being respectful, responsive, and resourceful.

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