The Women’s Center seeks to empower women for another year

As human beings, we jump at any opportunity to embrace who we are. The Women’s Center gives WCU men and women countless chances to do just that. A general bias is that the center exists just to make girls feels better. But if you think you haven’t been affected by the Women’s Center, I encourage you to think again. I’m sure you own one of their buttons, or were interviewed for the Body Project, or have been impacted by one of their events, or you’re friends with a woman who is involved.

According to their Web site, the programs exist for a number of reasons, such as to provide peer support, to give women a safe place to seek help with personal issues, sexual harassment and abuse, and dating issues, and to encourage education about women’s issues and concerns. Sara Stoltenburg, the director of the Women’s Center, said “If I could sum up what we do in one word, I’d say ’empower.'”

The Women’s Center provides a variety of programs aimed at fulfilling that mission. Some are familiar to WCU students, while others are new initiatives. Here are just a few of the Fall 2007 events.

The Clotheline Project (Sept 25-27)- Most returning students on campus remember stopping to read the numbers of tshirts hanging across the UC lawn. This project, which begun in 1990, addresses violence against women. All shirts are designed by women in Western North Carolina, some from WCU, as a “testimony to the problem of violence.”

Yo Soy Latina! (Oct 2)- This comedic ensemble play challenges the assimilation and connection of Latina women in the United States. Co-sponsored by Multicultural Affairs and Last Minute Productions.

Women’s Center Alumni Brunch (Oct 20)- This time is reserved for current and former Women’s Center staff, interns, volunteers, and friends to come together, learn from each other, and network. RSVP required.

Love Your Body Day (Nov 7)- Every fall, the Women’s Center puts on a jam-packed day of programs that encourages men and women to love who they are.

Go Girls! (dates varied)- This group aims to support women’s sports, especially at WCU. Visit the Web site for dates.

Though the Women’s Center tries to pay attention to student needs on campus, your suggestions or ideas are always welcome! “Ninety percent of our programs are planned by students, so your input will always be valued,” says Stoltenburg. Besides attending the programs or offering your thoughts, volunteers are normally needed for events; please contact Stoltenburg for more information if you’d like to get involved.

To learn more about these and other events, visit the Women’s Center on the third floor of the UC, or browse the Web site,