Wooster Students Join Forces to ‘Clean Up’ Wikipedia

Five classes participate in “edit-a-thon” during Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Week

27 January, 2016 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio ­– Just about everyone with a computer has visited the website Wikipedia at one time or another, often to find that some of the information they were seeking was incorrect or unverified.

Next month, a group of students and faculty members from The College of Wooster will do their part to “clean up” the site with a “public scholarship event” as part of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Week (Feb. 21-27).

The Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon will involve students and faculty members from five WGSS cross-listed courses, who will edit “stubs” (entries with incomplete information) and create new entries on topics related to feminism, women’s history, gender, and sexuality, etc. This group hopes to update as many as 100 entries, and possibly more.

“Wikipedia is the eighth most-read website on the Internet, so it is essential that accurate information be made available to readers,” says Christa Craven, associate professor of anthropology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, chair of WGSS, and organizer of the edit-a-thon. “Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The College of Wooster is joining with the National Women’s Studies Association’s Wikipedia Initiative to make this a reality. It is particularly important for feminists to engage in this work because Wikipedia’s articles on women, people of color, LGBTQ+ figures, and feminist/queer organizations are often incomplete, ‘stubs,’ of low quality, or simply non-existent.”

The event will take place on Monday, Feb. 22, from 3-5 p.m. in the Collaborative Research Environment (CoRE) of Andrews Library. Those participating will be students from Kabria Baumgartner’s history course, Beyond Harriet Tubman; Susan Clayton’s psychology class, Psychology of Women & Gender; Katie Holt’s history course, Modern Brazil; Brett Krutzsch’s Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies class, Queer Lives; andJeremy Rapport’s religious studies course, New Religions in the New Age. The groups will reconvene on Friday, Feb. 26, from 12-1 p.m. in CoRE to present and reflect on the their efforts.

Participation is not limited to students and faculty in the five courses. Anyone can become involved by visiting the Wikipedia WGSS Week 2016 Meet-up website.