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The idea for the Men and Masculinity Program (M&M) began in Fall Quarter of 2010. Christina Kaviani (current director of M&M and Safer) was in the process of transitioning Cal Poly’s Women’s Center to our current Gender Equity Center (GEC), and recognized the lack of men involved in the movement to end sexual assault on campus. As a result, a key addition to the newly branded GEC was a host of programming geared towards engaging men and the culture of masculinity on campus. It was called the “Men and Masculinity Programs.”

Over the next three years, the GEC and Safer worked towards creating events, discussion groups, trainings, etc. that invited people to critically assess the status of men at Cal Poly, and to realize the importance of men’s role in ending sexual assault.

In addition to programming, two important campus resources were developed out of the Men and Masculinity Programs. The first is the Sexual Misconduct Training (SMT)—a six week restorative training for male-identified students who’ve been found in violation of Executive Order 1095 (CSU campus sexual misconduct policy). The second is the Respondent Advising Program—a support service provided for respondents throughout their Title IX investigation. See below for more information about these programs.

In 2014, a proposal for developing a new stand-alone Men and Masculinity Program (separate from the GEC or Safer) was added to Cal Poly Student Affairs’ Strategic Plan, as a key resource for helping to elevate campus safety and culture. The new program’s focus would be continuing and elaborating on its initial mission—engaging men and the culture of masculinity on campus, towards the goal of ending sexual assault. In June 2016, M&M was given full funding by the university, and it was off to the races getting the program up and running.

In 2018-2019, the Men & Masculinitiy program was renamed Men & Masculinities for an increased focus on the various expressions of masculinity and was reorganized under the umbrella of the Cross Cultural Centers as one of the community centers focused on addressing masculinity and how it interacts with other identities such as gender, sexuality, and race.

There’s a long list of amazing people—students, faculty, and staff—who’ve worked hard to advocate for, create, and sustain this program throughout its budding stages. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all you’ve done.

Here’s to the future!

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