The Women’s Center of Southern Methodist University empowers students within the university to increase awareness and understanding of gender equity issues. The Women’s Center gives voice for women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community, with purpose to eliminate barriers, diminish prejudices, and create a supportive climate and space for all.
2012-13 DEPARTMENTAL HIGHLIGHTS
For our department, some highlights from this past year include: ~ Celebrating our 48th Annual Women’s Symposium with keynote speakers, Ellen Jackofsky and Bekah Boyer speaking to the theme “Mind the Age Gap”~ Hosting the “Let’s Talk About It” program with the Delta Gamma Foundation Lectureship for Values and Ethics, Student Development and Programs, New Student Orientation and Student Support, and Counseling and Psychiatric Services with approximately 1700 new students participating or taking a parallel online course ~ Launching two picture projects across campus with the aim of visible support on issues of: Body Image and LGBT Equality ~ Creating an identity based, Living Library with Multicultural Student Affairs and Central University Libraries ~ Marking the 40th Anniversary of Title IX and its impact on colleges and universities across the nation with the SMU Department of Athletics ~ Hosting women of color (students, staff, and faculty) for our monthly Food Chain networking group, and ~ Training 80 new Allies for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community on campus. We advise five student organizations on campus. These groups put on numerous programs, one of note is the Vagina Monologues. Celebrating the 15th year of the Vagina Monologues, ticket sales raised over $2000.00 for Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, a family violence shelter in Dallas. Throughout the year, we put on lots of programs, events, and trainings for the SMU community and beyond, spreading our pillars of Voice, Community, Purpose, and Equity.
- Our limited budget makes programming and reach difficult. However, this year our budget was supplemented with a grant from Student Affairs that allowed for us to create the two big picture projects.
- Traditional programming has not always been successful for talking about a lot of the issues important to our Women’s Center (sexual assault, violence prevention, discrimination). We need to find continually innovative ways in and out of the classroom to connect with students. One opportunity to advocate for these issues has come from participation in the Sexual Assault Task Force.
- Center Connectors – Creating leadership opportunities for younger leaders as a pipeline to our higher level leadership positions.
- Resources on Disownment – Coordinating resources and preparing in a readable format for students who may be disowned due to their identity.
Learning Happens Everywhere
- HDEV 2201– Teaching a course with in the Student Development and Programs team that will help us advocate for inclusion of multiple identities in the classroom setting, using experiential learning techniques.
- Lending Library – Assessing effectiveness of our current lending library and gaining feedback
from students on how to expand and improve resources on Women’s and LGBT issues.
Exemplary Division of Student Affairs
- Professional Development– Participate in the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, as well as local conferences (National Conference on LGBT Equality, Planned Parenthood Education Days, etc.)
- Zero Based Budget – Creating and maintaining a zero based budget that guides us and holds us accountable to our goals. Effectively using our resources so that we can get the most from them.