Women’s Resources Center Celebrates First Anniversary

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THE WOMEN’S RESOURCES CENTER at the University of Illinois
celebrated its first anniversary on February 21st,
2010. A campus wide invitation was made to attend a luncheon
and panel discussion with students and faculty who
were integral in establishment of the center. Panelists
talked about the need for, and value of adding a Women’s
Center to the campus. The Women’s Center was the most
recent cultural center to be created, and it joined the LGBT
Resource Center, the Asian American Cultural Center, La
Casa Cultural Latina, the Native American House, and the
Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center.
The movement to create a women’s center on campus
was spearheaded by students who were passionate about
addressing the unmet needs of female students and giving
women on campus a space to call their own. Students
worked hard to get the word out about the need for a
women’s center, and gather support from other students,
faculty and staff. They circulated petitions, set up a
“women’s center” in a tent on the University of Illinois
quad and held a sit-in at the Swanlund Administration
building. When the effort began, the University of Illinois
was the only Big 10 campus without a women’s center.
The Women’s Resources Center is open to people of all
genders. Its mission is to improve the campus climate for
women and address issues of gender inequality. The center
strives to expand the understanding of the needs and goals
of women students and encourage all students to take an
active role in confronting these issues and improving equity
for all members of the campus community. The center offers
a variety of social and educational programming in addition,
it provides services and support to students dealing
with dating abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. It
offers short term counseling and referral services to any student
who has been affected by relationship violence.
The center is currently celebrating Women’s History
Month, highlighting the contributions of women who
have paved the way for students today. The staff is also
gearing up for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which
begins April 1st. There will be a variety of events open to
all students and members of the Champaign-Urbana community,
including a talk and book signing by popular feminist
writers Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti, the Healing
Works Art Exhibit, featuring artwork by and in honor
of survivors of sexual violence, and the 31st annual Take
Back the Night March. For a complete calendar of events,
visit: go.illinois.edu/wrc/saam.
Regular programs include Writ’n’Rhymed poetry and
open mic night, the Dish It Up lunch & lecture series, and
a monthly film showing. This semester the films featured
are all directed or written by women. For more information
on the mission, goals and programs at the center, go
to www.studentaffairs.illinois.edu/diversity/.

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