Women’s resource center to open on campus

Women's resource center to open on campus

After years of hoping to get a women’s resource center started on campus, students and faculty may see one next fall if there is enough interest among students who would want to reside there.

“The housing crunch means that the house has to be student living,” said Stephanie Krauth, associate dean of students. “We are looking for eight people willing to live in the house and make it their project for the year.”

There would be an expectation that the students living in the house would help run the center. There would also be an advisory group for the center.

This idea has been in the making for quite some time. Plans are that the center will be on campus next fall and will be located at 707 N. C Street, the current political-science theme house.

“Many faculty and students have been hoping for a women’s resource center for a long time,” said Professor of English Nancy St. Clair. “Dean Steve Griffith has made it a priority. The administration fully supports the project.”

The center would contain a variety of resources available to students and faculty. Resources such as movies, books, audio equipment, speakers and other things would be a part of the center. It could also serve as a place for students and faculty, men and women, to go and talk with each other.

“It would provide students with the opportunity to explore issues that are important to women on campus and in the world,” St. Clair said. “So many liberal arts colleges have a women’s center. It seems important to have one here as well.”

The group of faculty and staff working to make this project happen has been in contact with the Chrysalis Foundation and others to find funding for the center. The funding would support the resources the center would offer to the campus.

“The Chrysalis Foundation is a Des Moines-based foundation whose goal is to promote economic independence and leadership opportunities for all women and girls,” said Carrie Clogg, director of government and foundation support. “We have met with their foundation and will be submitting a grant for support in July for the women’s resource center. I have also been doing research for other funding opportunities.”

Although arrangements have already been made for funding and the center, unless there is student interest, the center will not be a part of Simpson campus next fall.

“It is all about whether students want it to happen,” Krauth said. “No one has wanted to move in yet. We are trying to spread the word across campus. The idea is let’s start something and let students have the opportunity to shape it.”

The planned house for the women’s center is currently occupied by 10 students. If the women’s center occupies the house next fall, only eight students will live there. The living area will be separated from the resource center.

Although there has not been much student interest in living in the women’s resource center so far, there is still hope that this idea will become a reality.

“I am very happy that it seems to be in the process of happening after many years of being discussed,” St. Clair said.