Faces of Rhodes
Jasmine Gilstrap ′13
Minors: Gender and Sexuality Studies, English
Hometown: Madison, AL
Fun Fact: She really likes listening to music on vinyl.
What are your favorite activities on campus?
The Sou’Wester, AWSOME, VOX, V-day and being a Peer Assistant to incoming freshman.
You’re the editor of the Sou’Wester this year?
I was the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the newspaper last year and I will take over as the editor this year. My main priority is to have the newspaper online by the end of the semester and have lots of student interaction with the new website.
What is your role with AWSOME (African American Women Speaking Our Mind on Empowerment)?
AWSOME is a comfort group I help organize in which all the African American women on campus convene. Each month we have a group discussion and do some form of community service.
And how about VOX?
Vox is the Latin word for voice, and we are the voices for Planned Parenthood. We help students on campus get connected to Planned Parenthood and the services they offer. We recently organized “sexpert sessions” in which we partnered with Residence Assistants to conduct peer education sessions on campus.
Your minor is really tied with your extra-curricular activities. Do you ever find yourself applying what you’ve learned in class?
It certainly allows me to recognize certain social patterns. A lot of gender and class issues we focused on in my gender and sexualities classes, especially in regard to women’s expectations for their futures, are still happening today. I’ve really seen it during my volunteer experiences talking to young girls at the Hollywood Community Center. Many of the girls expect themselves to jeopardize high school and have kids early. For them, it’s the norm.
Are your extracurricular activities related to your intended post-Rhodes career?
I’d like to do psychology research with abused women. I also want to help the next generation and train them to be the next sexperts and educate their campuses. My goal is to perpetuate the ideas of non-violence and acceptance, and escape gender stereotypes.
How has your involvement at Rhodes changed you?
I think it’s made me more aware of what is going on. It’s also made me think really hard about what it is I believe and why I believe it, because I wouldn’t be involved in a lot of these things if I didn’t truly support these movements. Before I came to Rhodes I was a feminist but now I really know what it means, and I’m taking an active role in my feminist lifestyle.