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Otterbein to Open New Women's and Gender Resource Center

September 26, 2012

All members of the Otterbein community are invited to an open house and tour of the new Women's and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) on Tuesday, October 2nd, from 3-4 pm. The Center, a collaborative effort of Academic and Student Affairs, is housed on the ground floor of 25 W Home (rooms 159 and 160).

Dr. Tammy Birk, the director of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program as well as faculty advisor to the WGRC, believes that "the Center will play--and pioneer--many important roles for the campus." Designed as a multi-purpose initiative, the WGRC will:

  • educate the university community about women’s and gender-related issues as well as the intersections of gender with race, class, and sexuality;
  • provide dedicated meeting space for curricular and co-curricular efforts that are centered on women and gender-related issues;
  • provide affiliated student organizations and campus initiatives an organizational center for their work; 
  • offer regular and relevant campus programming, especially in conjunction with affiliated student organizations; 
  • provide a safe space and support services for students who are experiencing distress (especially because of physical or sexual violence and abuse);
  • house a Resource Library centered on women's and gender issues;
  • and ensure opportunities for meaningful community and dialogue with all students, staff, and faculty who are concerned with the pursuit of equity and equality.

Otterbein's Women's and Gender Resource Center is also unique in its leadership structure. Most significantly, the Center is staffed and led by a team of over twenty students and alumni who are trained as interns and volunteers. It is overseen by an Advisory Board of faculty, staff in Student Affairs, administrators in both Academic and Student Affairs, and student interns. "It is a truly collaborative project," says Birk, "and that is an inspiring thing to see, especially when we know how very busy so many of us are. It may sound like a cliche, but the campus community really came together to make this Center happen. It belongs to a lot of people now, and I think that means that we've done something right."

Stop by on October 2nd, tour the Center, and think about ways that you can use its space and resources. "The mission of the Center is new and evolving," Birk concludes. "There's nothing that we want more than supportive faculty, staff, students, and alumni to help shape the Center's mission for the campus."

For further information, contact Alex Shaffer, lead residential intern (ashaffer@otterbein.edu) or Tammy Birk, faculty advisor and director of the WGSS program (tbirk@otterbein.edu).

Note: Please use the door on Cochran Alley (behind Student Affairs, on the parking lot) for entry to the WGRC open house at 25 W. Home.
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