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Women's Studies: Pioneering in Scholarship, Activism, and Internationalization since 1970

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The Young Women's Studies Club at Hoover High School: Community Partner with the Department of Women's Studies at SDSU

SDSU's Department of Women's Studies has continued its mentoring relationship with the Young Women's Studies Club at Hoover High School for many years. Women’s Studies provides a graduate student assistant who organizes all events and activities alongside the elected Hoover student officers. Teachers from the Hoover campus who give their own time to these activities also advise the Club.

On average 25-40 students attend the weekly meetings. They are roughly 75% female, 25% male and come from widely diverse backgrounds. The meetings take place on Thursdays over the lunch hour and pizza is provided through donated funds saving more time for the meeting and building a sense of sociability and community.

Student mentors from SDSU join the Hoover students in their meetings. Prof. Susan Cayleff selects students enrolled in her General Education “Women in American History” course to participate in a Community Service Learning component with the Hoover YWSC.

Events for each year are drawn from various sources. Some respond to current world happenings or interests of the Hoover students; several come from successful past events.


Sample activities are:

Homecoming Parade Float: YWSC members and SDSU Women's Studies students conceptualize and create a “float” (a decorated van) paying tribute to women for Hoover's annual Homecoming Parade. Club members and college students, dress as famous women performers, parade in front of the van carrying a YWSC banner.

“Constructed Images” Project: The Club and its mentors collect women's magazines from diverse cultural backgrounds and create posters boards that depict the images used in advertising to show ideals of contemporary women from various ethnic/racial categories.

• College Application Workshop: Prior to colleges' application deadlines, SDSU Women's Studies M.A. students held a workshop with Club members on "How to Apply to College" and "How to Get Financial Aid."

• Guest Speaker: An M.A. student at SDSU speaks on issues related to the research for her Master's thesis. The discussion can lead to personal stories and recollections.

Women In Sports Night: The annual field trip to a Lady Aztecs basketball game. This is always a popular event that emphasizes the importance of attending college, the desirability of participating in sports, and mentoring amongst the Club members and SDSU students.

• Women’s History Month Poster Contest: This event involves research, constructing a visual presentation, and collaborative work between high school and college students.

The Clothesline Project: This project began as a way for survivors of domestic and relationship partner abuse to express themselves. The students were provided with blank t-shirts in which they drew and inscribed messages of survival and affirmation. All t-shirts made a statement against violence against women.

• Field Trip to the Women’s Museum Of California: This organization houses a museum space, archives and a library detailing diverse women's contributions to American and world history.

• Picnic at Balboa Park: this annual event is a cookout, softball game and exchange of ideas and plans for the summer and upcoming year. At this session, YWSC club members who have been admitted to college detail their plans. SDSU students share their insights about college life as well.

• Field trip to view Sdsu In-Class Presentations in Professor Cayleff’s “Women in American History” Class: This encourages YWSC club members to view SDSU as their potential college campus. They attend a junior/senior level class while students present findings on their research topics.

Faculty Advisor:

Susan E. Cayleff


The Andrea O'Donnell Womyn's Outreach Association

The Andrea O'Donnell Womyn’s Outreach Association (WOA) is a feminist resource and activist organization serving the students of SDSU and nearby communities. With the construction of a new student union on campus, they are currently looking for a meeting space until the Aztec Student Union opens (est. Spring 2014). The events they annually sponsor and/or organize are: Bridging the Gap Teen Conference for underprivileged and pregnant teens, Take Back the Night, Women's Film Festival, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Love Your Body Day, and they are currently working very hard to create a true Women's Center on campus. When they have a permanent space, their resources will include a loan library of books, course readers, newsletters, journals, pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines and brochures. They are also trying to build their "video library" and are always welcoming of donations. Please consider joining them on Facebook for information.

Contact Information: 



or the faculty advisor, Professor Doreen Mattingly at

The Andrea O'Donnell Womyn’s Outreach Association is named in honor of the Women's Studies major and Resource Center student leader who was murdered by her boyfriend in 1995. Her work on behalf of improving women's lives and her tragic death inspire and remind us about the empowerment women can experience and still be subject to abuse.

The main goals of WOA include:

  • To provide free, accessible information, resources, and referrals regarding women's health, body image, eating disorders, sexuality, and other gender-related issues faced by students, faculty, and staff at SDSU.

  • To raise awareness about sexism and its consequences, and work toward ending violence, abuse, and all forms of sexist oppression, and by organizing various educational and consciousness-raising events.


  • Women's Film Festival

  • "Bridging the Gap" teen conference
    • Annual conference held in the Spring

    • Underprivileged and pregnant teens come to the SDSU campus for a day to explore their options in pursuing higher education

    • They learn about resources to help them become college students

  • Take Back the Night
    • Usually held in April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month)

    • Rally, march, and candlelight vigil to raise awareness about violence against women while commemorating its survivors and victims

    • Features guest speakers, information booths, and a display of the Clothesline Project which is a mobile display of T-shirts created by victims/survivors of violence against women