Although the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) has existed since 1999, its ability to serve students has increased dramatically in recent years, especially after its move to central campus in 2010.
Consistent with the vision of the CCIE, the WRC not only creates a campus environment that empowers women, but also provides a safe and inclusive place for students of all backgrounds and sexual orientation, whether women, men, reentry students, mothers who are nursing their babies or transgender students who have access to a unisex restroom. The WRC has worked in partnership with the CCIE to improve campus responses to victims of sexual assault and co-sponsor programming.
Among its efforts is outreach to men. Three years ago the Center’s annual conference was renamed the Wo/men’s Conference, and it has been growing every year, attracting 200 people to the event on March 3, 2012, about a 60 percent increase in attendance over the previous year.
Although men are involved in all of its programs and some initiatives have been designed for them, the Center plans to form a focus group with male students and faculty to develop strategies to increase male involvement and support. The WRC is launching aTrain theTrainers Men’s Program this year and plans to add staff support specializing in male education.
Last year, the WRC worked with two student leaders to put on the Uniting Our Voices, Breaking the Silence rally in response to sexual assault cases on campus.The event attracted more than 100 students, faculty and staff members, as well as media representatives from across the Bay Area who produced favorable coverage of how Saint Mary’s handles issues of sexual assault.
Endeavors such as the Got Consent poster project and the sophomore-class-led STOP campaign, which engaged students in the topic of sexual assault prevention, are other efforts in which Center staff and students have been involved.
The Center also engages ethnic minority alumna through an annual program aimed at specific ethnic groups. On Sept. 26, 2012, Celebrating Latinas: ATribute Luncheon was held on campus, allowing Latina alumni to network and share experiences with undergraduate students. Next year’s event will involve the Asian Pacific American community.