SGA House adopts legislation supporting construction of women’s center
The Student Government Association House unanimously supported legislation supporting the construction of a women’s and gender center Monday night.
The vote grants student support to the construction of a women’s and gender center. The SGA Senate passed the legislation earlier this month.
While a specific model for a women and gender center has been proposed, no plans for the construction of the center have been finalized, according to Laura Orta, assistant director of graduate and off-campus programs in the political science department.
The legislation calls for a safe place for all “women, transgender and gender nonconforming students, faculty, staff, community members and sexuality-concerned registered student organizations.”
“The creation of a women’s center would align with Central Michigan (University’s) core values of inclusiveness and social responsibility,” the legislation reads.
The legislation was sponsored by SGA’s Diversity Committee and Transcend, a registered student organization dedicated to transgender issues.
It is broad in intent, supporting the construction of any women’s center while not calling for a specific model.
Saginaw junior Marie Reimers, who helped author the bill, said the passing of the legislation is a great victory for students on CMU’s campus.
“We are ecstatic that the legislation got student support; I believe this really shows the need for a women and gender center on campus,” Reimers said.
Although not specifically endorsed by SGA legislation, Orta has presented a specific vision of a women’s and gender center she has constructed, named “The Elizabeth Ross Center,” after CMU President George Ross’ wife.
The specific model would focus on integrating information about gender into one location, providing a place of support and community for women. The center would likely be built in the 002 suite of Anspach Hall.
Orta said her proposed model would be funded similarly to how the Center for Inclusion and Diversity is funded, through Student Services. The costs and construction timeline are not available as of yet.
Orta said she will be continuing discussion with Steven Johnson, vice president of Enrollment and Student Services, about the construction of a women’s and gender center and will continue to present her model to various university officials.
She said the SGA’s support will be a crucial part in building a women’s center on campus.
“Having student support is critical,” Orta said.
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