Women’s Center discussed during Soup and Substance event Monday
While the idea of a Women’s Center at Central Michigan University might conjure ideas of exclusive women-only feminist groups, the latest Soup and Substance event on Monday proved to have broader intentions that benefit everyone regardless of gender.
Monday in the Bovee University Center, CMU Assistant Director of Graduate and Global Campus Programs for the Political Science Department Laura Orta and Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Director of the Women’s Center at Grand Valley State University Marlene Kowalski-Braun talked to an audience of around forty about the benefits of a women’s and gender center at CMU.
As previously reported by Central Michigan Life, CMU’s Student Government Association House unanimously supported legislation supporting the construction of a women’s center. The proposed center, called the Elizabeth Ross Women’s Center, still has to reach final approval for space and funding details from Steven Johnson, vice president of Enrollment and Student Services.
At the Soup and Substance: Women’s Centers panel, an event free and open to the public, Kowalski-Braun represented GVSU and said their women’s center serves as a pay-it-forward example for the proposed CMU women’s center.
An animated Kowalski-Braun spoke several times about the variety of benefits a women’s center would bring to CMU and the Mount Pleasant community. She often prompted attendees to think about topics, such as who colonial colleges were originally intended for. The room was filled with murmured responses of “men.”
Kowalski-Braun prompted the audience to answer deeper questions, including “why do we need women’s studies when the majority of college students today are women?” She answered that it is because it is about equality, not just numbers. She talked about various types of equality, such as equal pay, political influence and status.
Orta said she hoped attendees will get behind the movement for the women’s and gender center and become involved in the conversation around the need for one.
“I hope they got the importance of a women’s center and the inspiration to advocate for one here at CMU,” Orta said.
Orta’s daughter, Veronica Orta, a Mount Pleasant junior, came to the Soup and Substance event Monday to support her mother, learn where the Elizabeth Ross Women’s Center’s progress stood, as well as to help raise awareness for women’s issues. She said she hopes the Soup and Substance talk will help students spread the word about the women’s center.
“I feel like one of the sad things is that there isn’t a lot of attention (to women’s issues),” Veronica said.
Kowalski-Braun talked with the audience about a variety of factors that affect women such as socioeconomical influences, wage equality, body image, sexual violence, athletics and politics. She said these issues are all addressed at the GVSU center. She answered questions from the audience on topics such as educating potential rapists instead of victim blaming as well as the role faculty plays in the integration of the program.
The Elizabeth Ross Women’s Center has yet to be established, but, according to Orta, the center needs more people to get behind it and push for it to make it a reality.
“The women’s center benefits Central Michigan University through advocating for women students, faculty, staff and community members so that their voices are heard and their needs addressed,” reads an information sheet from the event.
Kowalski-Braun talked about how far GVSU’s women’s center has come and offered words of encouragement and perseverance to those involved with the CMU project.
“When given the test of doing the things that matter most, we find a way,” Kowalski-Braun said.
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- Kellie: We miss miss you Carolyn. You still are remember on the socc…
- anonymous: I know this girl was in the wrong, but, put yourself in her …
- : What is the standing cement block structure going to be for?…
- 5k: Solved the case!! …
- : SOLVED THE CASE …
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here