You might not all be aware, but the percentage of women students in engineering is less that 20%. Imagine an engineering campus where there are no organizations like Women in ECE, Women in CS, because women have ceased to be underrepresented in engineering. We are here to see the difference a woman engineer statue on the engineering campus can make. The engineering profession cannot continue to ignore the talents of half of our population.
We want to promote women in engineering because that adds to the diversity in the college and the campus. We want to promote women in engineering because of the 38 engineers in the Illinois Engineering hall of fame, only 2 are women.
There are many efforts to support women and other underrepresented groups studying engineering on campus. The Women in Engineering (WIE) program has undertaken many initiatives over the years to promote female students in engineering. There are registered student organizations which focus on women, like the Society of Women Engineers. Every year, freshmen women in engineering participate in the WIE Camp orientation before the beginning of classes.
Having a women engineer statue will add to these efforts in a unique way. In his paper, named, Towards the Understanding of Sculpture as Public Art, Curtis Carter writes that “public art might aim at fostering unity among people by idealizing the sentiments of the community, or by focusing on some areas of common agreement.”
A women statue on the engineering campus will inspire perspective students, who visit the campus for tours and Engineering Open House, to aspire to be a part of the Engineering at Illinois family. It will also serve as a reminder to the current women students in engineering that the community supports their goals and that they belong in engineering.
This petition will be presented to the Dean of College of Engineering, as a sign of student support for this cause.