6 years ago I walked into my first Women's Studies class. In hindsight I can say that that class changed my life. Today I sit in a college classroom learning advanced coding languages. Seems like quite a jump, but I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Women and Gender Studies program at Mount Allison University. I graduated from Mount A in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts honors in International Relations and a double minor in Sociology and Women's Studies. The next September I found myself at Western University pursuing a Master's degree in Women's Studies and Feminist Research.I am now at Algonquin College learning how to code, design and build websites. I have found my passion for non-profit communications since walking the hallways of Mount A's historic Hart Hall. But I can still smell the musty books, hear the sound of the creaky hardwood floors and picture the small groups of students I visited as a Teaching Assistant for the Introduction to Women's Studies class.I discovered a love of teaching, a passion for social justice and a commitment to gender equality. I learned to check my privilege. To live my truth. To be okay with calling myself a feminist. To learn women's herstories. To use my voice. To tell my story. To recognize the everyday sexism I experience. To recognize the everyday racism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. etc. that I don't experience. To understand the systemic power relations and hierarchies that make up our neoliberal, capitalist society. The Women's Studies program changed the way I saw myself in the world. I am heartbroken that others may not get that chance. This week it was announced that the Women and Gender Studies (WGST) Program at Mount A would not be receiving any funding for the next school year. Since the news broke the school Administration has done some back pedalling, trying to claim that nothing is set in stone, while the sole professor of the program has stated that she was told to expect no funding for core courses. Since I graduated in 2013, the Women's Studies minor program has grown tremendously – courses have waitlists, and enrollment has tripled. So why does a school which has prided itself on a number one undergrad ranking in Macleans turn it's back on social justice, and critical thinking? How does a school with the second highest rate of sexual assault in Canada decide that discussions of rape culture, toxic masculinity, consent and sexuality are not important? In a world where victim-blaming, slut-shaming, transphobia, racism, ableism, sexual harassment, homophobia make up people's daily experiences, how can a university decide that investing in an inclusive, integrated, intersectional education is not valuable? Two months ago, the heart of the WGST department passed away. Dr. Marie Hammond-Callaghan was an incredible woman. She was a mentor and a friend. She fought for this program every single day. This week alumni and current Mount A students and faculty are mobilizing to continue that fight, in honor of a program that changed our lives.Sign the petition calling on MTA administration to rethink their decision.