Last week (April 21-25) the computer science building was a little busier, a little more exciting, and a little more… feminine?
“[Women in Computer Science (WiCS)] didn’t have much of a presence last semester, and even at the beginning of this semester,” said social chair Paige Hinkle. “We really wanted to show women that there is a support group out there for women in comp sci and show the guys that we’re here.”
WiCS is a well established organization, and may seem exclusive at first glance, but raising awareness and participation within the female community alone was not their only goal for this event.
“We wanted to have a week of events for the whole department to get everyone together,” KK Kumar said. “We also noticed that some of the women in the department didn’t even know we existed, which is sad because we want everyone to know about us and engage with us.”
Men and women alike could not help but notice WiCS this week. With events like trivia geek-outs, inspirational talks and discussions, yoga, photo booths, and a banquet with faculty members, members were out in full force, whether that meant attending events, advocating for them, or just talking about them.
“All the events have been really fun so far,” CS sophomore Emma Stearman said. “And the fact that it’s even happening shows that the school cares about us, there is a support system, and gives us a really good opportunity to network with one another.”
Networking isn’t always easy in computer science, but WiCS knows how to bring all the CS majors together: food. Between hor d'oeuvres, bar-b-q, breakfast tacos, and of course, Tiff’s Treats, there was a meal at almost every event.
“A lot of people have come. It’s really nice to see people sitting down and eating and talking, not just taking the food and going away,” Kumar said. “People are coming in and actually participating in the events. It’s awesome.”
Even though the event drew to a close on Friday, it ended with something to brag about.
“I think so many people learned about Women in Computer Science, got to benefit from it, got to meet other people in computer science, and meet professors,” said Hinkle. “It was great. It was a great success.”
With such a success this year, students can’t help but think about the future of WiCS.
“Hopefully this week has raised awareness of WiCS, shown that it’s a group for guys and girls.” Stearman said. “I think it’s proved that we’re a strong presence within the department, and we’ll continue to grow every year.”