The Women’s Resource Center provides resources for the entire campus | Culture

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Do you know what or even where the Women’s Resource Center is?

Located in Fox Hall, the Women’s Resource Center was founded in 1965 by former Professor Eckerd and Founder of the Visual Arts Program, Margaret Rigg, who passed away in July 2011. The centre’s initial goal was to create a community for women can discuss and advocate for equality within the college by sponsoring events that raise awareness across the campus.

Today, the Women’s Resource Center is proud of Rigg’s vision of serving as a safe space for all individuals on the Eckerd Campus under the faculty direction of Carolyn Johnston, Professor of American Studies and History. , as well as the researchers who worked hard to promote the center. The center sponsors events and is open five days a week so any student can stop and relax. They have free snacks, books, games, condoms, artwork, movies, and student staff who are always on the lookout for new people.

“The students brought extraordinary enthusiasm and dedication to programming regarding women’s issues and also kept the Center open on a regular basis,” said Johnston.

In the early 2000s, the resource center organized annual marches and rallies in favor of equality. They have overseen many events that have helped promote justice around the Eckerd campus and the community of St. Petersburg. Some popular events that the Women’s Resource Center sponsored or organized were in conjunction with EC Feminists, such as alumni awards ceremonies, various series of college programs, and Bodies and Bagels, an event created to promote body positivity. .

The Women’s Resource Center has made significant progress in its goal of raising awareness within the Eckerd community. It was their strong presence a few years ago that caught the attention of one of the two current researchers, junior Talia Lima.

“In my senior year of high school, when I came to visit Eckerd, I walked past the Women’s Resource Center,” Lima said. “I walked in and felt like this was my space and I knew I was going to be a part of it.”

The pandemic has had an unfortunate impact on the Women’s Resource Center. They have lost their knowledgeable senior leaders, leaving newer and less experienced staff to set the future of the center without knowing how.

More recently, the center has not been able to organize or host as many events due to lack of funding.

“I was supposed to train all spring of my first year, but we were all kicked out so I couldn’t train or work with it. [the seniors]”Lima said.” The new staff committee that took part, the new faculty and the advisers were also new, so we were all walking into the brand new center. “

Currently, with the reopening of the center, Lima and her colleague, senior Jenna Woodall, are now trained and have gained work experience. The center is an advocacy for equality and anyone who feels they have been a victim or witness to injustice can come to the safe space and discuss what they want or need.

“[We’re learning] a lot about how to be a support system for people in these situations. There are people who struggle with aspects of their gender or their sexuality and I am a really helpful peer for others to talk about their concerns, ”said Lima.

Now that the center is reopened, there is not as much foot traffic as before. The centre’s work orders are continually being ignored, according to student staff, making it less attractive to the student body as they are stuck in a phase of remodeling. Their goal is to renovate so that students can feel more comfortable and secure in a modern way.

“We want to be able to say ‘Women’s Resource Center’ without people asking what and where it is,” said Lima. “We are open five days a week and want this to be known on campus. ”

The Women’s Resource Center now needs the love and support of the student body. This support is included but not limited to; attention, volunteers, word of mouth and hopefully a budget for the next semester that will allow their infamous events to take place once again.

“Help me, come hang out with me and make this center known by giving it attention.” The center needs it and needs maintenance, ”said Lima.

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