Students, Faculty Explore Ways to Fight Harassment in the Workplace


Idaho State Rep. Melissa Wintrow addresses students and faculty at “Creating a Collaborate Climate in an Evolving Workplace,” a discussion hosted by Women in the Workplace and other student groups. Photo by Madison Park.
Lots of ideas came out of a recent meeting when about 50 students and several faculty members met to talk about recognizing and ending harassment in the workplace. Among those ideas: Setting appropriate norms, modeling good behavior, calling out bad behavior, and above all, keeping the conversation going.
Student groups Women of the Workplace, the Student Nurses’ Association and the Pre-Law Society hosted the talk, “Creating a Collaborate Climate in an Evolving Workplace,” which took place Jan. 31 in the Micron Business and Economics Building. It included breakout sessions and instantaneous text polls, including one that asked: “When you think about harassment, what examples come to mind?” The poll stirred answers like “unwanted,” “uncomfortable,” “touching.” The mix included a few high-profile names, including “Trump,” “Weinstein” and “Lauer.”
A quick poll asked students to define harassment. Their answers created this word cloud. Photo by Madison Park
Idaho State Rep. Melissa Wintrow, who has deep roots at Boise State as the former head of the Women’s Center (now the Gender Equity Center), facilitated the discussion. Wintrow began by asking students to stand if they had experienced or observed slights like cat calls, inappropriate jokes, the objectification of body parts or “man-splaining.” That’s a pop culture term for someone, generally a man, explaining something to someone, generally a woman, in a condescending way. For some in the room, it was the first time hearing that term.
But for most of the time, most of the room was standing.
Amanda Haines, a senior majoring in political science and treasurer for the Pre-Law Society, was pleased the topic of workplace harassment is getting its due on campus and that so many …

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