A Women’s Center

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AS ONE OF THE ORGANIZERS for the campaign
to get a Women’s Center on the UIUC campus,
I’ve had a unique opportunity to see
the lives that such a center can touch. I’ve
also had an opportunity to visit Women’s
Centers at other colleges and see the impact
they make on campus life. Perhaps one of
the most important reasons for a Women’s
Center is the many opportunities it provides
women from different classes, races,
sexualities and abilities. The Center would
also serve as an open venue for women
scholars, writers, artists, and musicians
who to come speak to our campus community.
It can be a place where classrooms
and meetings can be held safely, a place to
centralize the many resources we have on
campus, and a place to learn about the
variety of struggles and obstacles that all
women face.
This isn’t to say that the already existing
services aren’t amazing. They are. But
they just aren’t adequately sized for a campus
of our magnitude. Perhaps a campus
of 4,000 could operate efficiently with a
two-office, Women and Gender Studies
Program. A campus of 40,000, however,
needs much more. At the current staffing
ration, we have 1 staff member per 8,000
students—and that doesn’t even take into
account the needs of women faculty and
staff who could benefit from such a Center
on our campus.
The fact that UIUC doesn’t have a
Women’s Center speaks volumes about the
institution’s attitude towards women. The
university is willing to invest 80 million dollars
on renovations of Assembly Hall, while,
in the same breath, telling students that
there is no money for funding a Women’s
Centers. As a consequence, the Allies For A
Women’s Center have come together to
work for change.We hope that now and

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