Campus Spotlight: The Women’s Center
By Megan Saylor
“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.” –Sojourner Truth
U of L created the Women’s Center in 1991 after a request from the women’s studies department was approved. In March 1992, the Center opened on the ground floor of Gardiner Hall. It is now located in the basement of the Administrative Annex. Because of the Women’s Center, we have Prevention, Education, & Advocacy on Camus and in the Community (PEACC) on campus. PEACC offers many different programs and services to better ensure the safety of everyone on campus. With a focus on 53% of U of L’s population (women), PEACC is composed of programs ranging from a rape crisis program to a creative employment program that has been helping women rebuild their lives when entering or reentering the workforce since 1975. Because of the Women’s Center, we also have such student organizations as Backtalk, Womenspeak, and Students for Choice. All three of these programs are open to volunteer work and can be reached through the Women’s Center website at www.louisville.edu/provost/womenctr, or by phone at 852-8976.
Remember that glorious day on August 26, 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections, including in the Presidential election? “The day will come when man will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.” And by striving to bring forth that day, stepping closer to that very dream of Susan B. Anthony’s? Maybe that day passes by just like any other day. But for those of us who take advantage and pay our dues to those who fought for our rights, that day is a special day. A day that, come rain or snow, our transient sun, rising anew each day, will shine brighter than before. Today, you may have noticed a performance put on by the Women’s Center in front of the Humanities quad. Giant puppets or loud drums may have caught your eye. If you stopped to watch, you may have heard a little bit about what role women play in everyday life. When it is important to recognize significant accomplishments of women throughout history, remember this day. For the past ten years, the Women’s Center has done everything from creating giant puppets to bringing in speakers and other significant women such as the Changing Breeze Drummers. Next year, perhaps you would be interested in contributing to that event.
Volunteer work plays a very important role in the progression of the Women’s Center. You can volunteer in positions such as public speaking and letter writing. Last winter the student coordinator, Marea Stamper, was given the opportunity to work with a $500 dollar grant. The grant was given to different organizations raising funds to end violence against women through ticket sales for Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” With the $500 dollars, Stamper is now accepting volunteers to distribute cardboard coasters in several Louisville-area bars, which will protect women from being drugged by covering drinks that women may not be watching closely enough. If you are passionate about advocating ideas such as these, it is important that you contact Kathy Kremer now.