Photo by Miranda Grace Crowell, Orange Media Network.
Baby blue paint with white trimming and the appearance of a normal house which just happened to plop onto campus grounds. Yet on a school day inside these walls one can expect to find free coffee and a good conversation on social justice.
“While our name is the Women’s Center, we work with students from all gender identities and we strive to focus our work on gender justice through a lens of intersectional feminism,” Whitney Archer the associate director of Diversity and Cultural Engagement, and assistant director of the Women’s Center, said in an email. “In many ways, our community is connected through our shared values of feminism and social justice vs. a shared gender identity.”
According to Archer, the 2016-2017 staff worked together to form a statement which continues to ground and guide their work today.
At the Women’s Center we are a collective of student leaders that strive to create and foster a brave community working towards equity through intersectional feminism with the end goal of liberation for all.
According to the OSU Women’s Center webpage, the Women’s Center was established in 1973 with the goal of transforming concerns into actions.
“The WC was founded at the same time at the Women Gender & Sexuality Studies and is one of the oldest university women’s centers in the U.S.,” according to Archer.
With the upcoming year bringing potential name changes, the WC has put in work within the last several years to switch the community’s focus from solely women to instead, an overall viewpoint focused on the principle of feminism, according to Archer.
“I think our community is unique because the individuals who make it up are unique. Our community’s culture is not monolithic. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, even different communities too,” Miriam Wojtas, a student leadership liaison at the Women’s Center said in an email. “For that reason, we are charged with continually fostering community that is intersectional – that way it serves as many folks as possible.”
According to Wojtas, the Women’s Center has been a place where they have felt community and belonging on campus, as well as been pushed to think critically and love social change.
“I just want to see the people I love feel nourished and cared for by the work that comes out of the Women’s Center,” Wojtas said in an email.
The Women’s Center is a place for students, as well as community members, to come in and enjoy anytime they would like, according to Wojtas. From checking the center out online, to just walking in the building, there is no shortage of ways to get involved.
The women’s center is a resource for all students regardless of their identities, according to Elijah Stucki, a graduate assistant at the Women’s Center. Anyone can have free tea, coffee , or water while talking to amazing people within the community.
“The Women’s Center is my home away from home. Where I’m pushed to be uncomfortable in my social justice journey as well as loved during it,” Stucki said in an email. “This place is amazing and has so much wealth of knowledge and love to give.”
According to Stucki, one of the goals for the women’s center this year is to build and extend their community.
“There is a volunteer program at the Women’s Center called F.A.B or Feminist Action Brigade. They work on programming and projects that the Women’s Center staff does,” Stucki said in an email. “We do feminist feasts together and we have discussions on social justice topics. We also hire ten student staff every year to work and do programming through the Women’s Center. Please get involved! We’d love to see you.”