Women’s Resource Center not only for women

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a seemingly unknown group to men that is full of valuable information that is not just for women.

“I feel like the title is a misconception,” sophomore Lauren Pass said. “It’s really for all gendered people.”

Men are more than welcome to join. In fact, this year the WRC is looking to have more men participating. Anyone can take advantage of the services that the WRC has to offer.

“We’ve been here forever but no one really knows who we are or what we do,” Pass said. “That’s what we want to change this year.”

Many students have never heard of the WRC, but some still have a vague idea of what they do.

“They educated women and men about resources that are available,” senior Adrienne Loutsch said. “They empower women.”

The WRC provides information about where to go for STD testing clinics, free pregnancy tests and birth control. The WRC wants to be a comfortable and safe place where students can discuss their problems or just simply stop in for help.

While most of the events are tentative, the WRC has many plans for this year. Every month they will host a “popcorn night” where students can come together to eat popcorn, watch a movie and discuss gender issues that are prevalent on campus.

This spring the WRC will be hosting “Take Back the Night” where students will rally together as they walk through campus and around Indianola.

“It symbolizes women being able to go out into the night without fear of being attacked or sexually assaulted,” Pass said.

“Take Back the Night” promotes awareness about sexual assault and asks the question ‘what’s wrong with our society that women are afraid to step outside by themselves?’

The WRC is also looking to create a publication called “The Voice.” It will be an outlet for students to present their stories, poetry and artwork as well as a place for them to confess a secret about their gender or talk about sexual abuse that they may not otherwise talk about.

“It might be the only outlet they have for this, especially if it’s a taboo subject and they don’t want to talk about it,” Pass said.

The publication of “The Voice” will open the eyes of students to issues that are common but not normally talked about.

“Once it’s finally published everyone else can come in and see like, wow this is really happening to people on campus,” Pass said. “This could be my friend, roommate or the person living across from me.”

Another way the WRC is hoping to get students involved is by creating “Friends of the WRC”, on the simplicity website, where students can be involved without living in the house.

A common misconception is that the WRC is involved with SARA, Sophia, LBGTQA and other gendered groups on campus when in fact they are not. However, the WRC would like to work along with these groups to gain support and publicity.

“Together we all have a lot of good things to offer,” Pass said.

The WRC is also looking to expand by gaining new members. They would like people who are open-minded activists and who want to change things.

“I joined WRC because I consider myself a feminist and I wanted to know more about women’s rights,” sophomore Carrie Paglia said.

Students don’t have to be fully educated on these topics but rather curious to learn more.

“Everyone in the house is curious at least about what the issues are,” Pass said. “What can we do about them, especially as a small group on campus? How do we play our part?”

The group encourages students to join even if they are involved with other activities. They appreciate all the input they can get.

“I think people should join because it is a good way to learn about feminism in an environment that is very relaxed and open,” Paglia said.

If students are interested in the group or applying to live in the house they can contact Lauren Pass. Students should keep an eye out for upcoming events, the publication of “The Voice” and bi-weekly meeting times.

“I’m really looking forward to this year and I hope we have a lot of success and bring some attention to the WRC,” Pass said.