The start of the year always makes a splash on campus life, and the Women’s Center made sure to get in on the fun with the Dive into the Women’s Center event last Friday.
The event was used as an introductory to what the space offers to campus. Women’s Center staff member Darnell Speltz spoke about the importance of having such an offering, “Having a space like the Women’s Center on campus is really important to make everybody feel included, especially people from minority groups”
Speltz continued, “It’s very important for women to have a safe space on campus, or anybody for that matter.” The Women’s Center is welcoming to people of all gender identities and backgrounds. “It doesn’t matter who comes into the Women’s Center. Anybody should be able to have a safe space where they feel welcomed.”
Students who attended the event were able to grab a snack, meet the staff, and grab a copy of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye for the center’s upcoming book club this semester.
For freshman Emma Gilberts, this event was her first time at the Women’s Center. Right away, Gilberts felt at home. “I love it. The environment is so vibrant. Everyone’s so happy and excited to see each other. I’ve already made a couple of friends so far. [They] have so many events you can sign up for or attend and there’s so many resources I found out that we can use today.”
The Women’s Center has an abundance of supplies that women on campus may be in need of; they offer menstrual products, condoms, a lactation space, and even a charging station.
Additionally, the Center offers a safe space. Gilberts said, “Personally, if I get really stressed out about school or classes, I know that I can come here and sit for a couple minutes and decompress, and then get back to studying. They have study groups here too. You can sit and watch a movie in here and then go on with your day.”
Women’s Center staff member Sarah Padoko encouraged students to check out the space even if they missed the event. “This is a space where everyone is welcome to come and feel safe. This is a place where you should be, and it’s a place where you can chat, relax, interact and ask questions. Anything that you want, you can ask.”
On the weekly, there are a variety of activities being hosted at the Women’s Center, including Crafternoons, movie nights, and educational events that offer valuable learning opportunities.
“This is such a good space to have, and a lot of people don’t know about it,” Speltz explained. “I would definitely love more people to come here because all of the energy here is really positive. Everybody’s just having a good time and talking to each other. That’s what we want to be here; a nice place for people to be able to talk to each other about anything and everything.”
For any students interested in learning more about the center, Speltz offered, “Any of the workers here including myself would be happy to show you around. I would love for people to become more accustomed to the space and feel free to come pop in at any time.”
Write to Lilly Schmidt email@example.com
Header Photo: The Women’s Center houses a healthy, safe, and engaging campus community that supports and lifts the voices of all women, though all are welcome (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)