Women’s Center prepares for autumn programs

The Women’s Center of Western Carolina University is still in full swing and has lined up a number of programs for students returning for fall.

Located on the second floor of the Hinds University Center, The Women’s Center offers a comfortable and caring environment for all guests, in addition to many ongoing activities for both students and community members.

Rebecca Caldwell, the woman behind the scenes of women’s advocacy and women’s involvement believes that the Center is quickly becoming an important part of student life at Western Carolina. She says that all of the student involvement is a “wonderful sign that the momentum is growing and that students are taking lead in deciding how they want their Women’s Center to be.”

The Center’s programs for this fall will be based around the ideas of women’s advocacy and awareness. On Oct. 14 and Nov. 11, the Cyber Café the Center will be hosting an open mic poetry and performance evening for women to share songs and read their own poetry or the words of poets they admire. Activities begin at 8 PM.

The Women’s Center also has an ongoing book club where women gather and choose a book, read it and come back together to discuss its impact on them. The next meeting will be on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 12:15 p.m. in the Women’s Center.

For the month of October, the Women’s Center will be advocating breast cancer awareness as well as the overall health of women. To show support for the survivors, victims and patients of breast cancer, the Center will be going to Asheville on Oct. 27 and taking part in the Relay For Life, a walk that raises money for the American Cancer Society. The Center will also collaborate with the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha to support breast cancer awareness.

The Women’s Center is also the umbrella organization for two other campus groups: The Women’s Advisory Council, a group of 50 women from four aspects of WCU (students, staff, faculty, and administration) as well as women who are active in the local community. This council acts as a group to coordinate events and to advocate all waves of lifestyles for women.

WISE Women, a student advocacy group formed to deal with issues on campus pertaining to female students, was recently created and is looking for interested women to join. James Stewart, a graduate of WCU who returned to Western to teach in the English Dept. serves as advisor to WISE Women.

Caldwell believes that there is always room for ideas and improvement and would like input from all campus and community members. She has received a great deal of support from all areas of the community and is pleased with a wave of volunteers.

Christy Tillman, a WCU student and Women’s Center assistant, has organized a group of volunteers who staff the Women’s Center during the week.

Caldwell would like to see the Women’s Center as an aid to “foster awareness and activism on campus and in the community, and for the center to be a safe place that focuses on sharing stories and encouraging all students to reach their full potential.”

For more information or to get involved, call the Women’s Center at 227-3982 or stop by the Center’s offices at 213 Hinds University Center.