Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cool Stuff on Campus: The Center for Women and Gender

There are certain places, like Alliot, the freshman quad, the library, and the academic buildings, that make up every student's experience at SMC in some capacity. Of course everyone has different experiences in college, which is why I'm psyched to share the awesomeness that is the Center for Women and Gender, which has been a huge part of my experience at SMC thus far.

First of all, the Director of CWG, Julia, is the coolest ever. She's nice, cares a lot about CWG, is easy to talk to and is overall an awesome representative of the SMC Faculty. And on top of that, she's behind all the awesome stuff that goes on with the CWG.

One such example is the Clothesline Project and Red Flag Display, which consists of a clothesline of t-shirts made by victims and others affected by sexual assault, as well as red flags which each represent someone who has been helped by HOPE Works this year in Chittenden County. CWG got the display from HOPE Works, which created it in collaboration with Women Helping Battered Women and RU12?. The display is intended to raise awareness of sexual violence, and also offers information about local resources related to the issue. I've personally found this and other events like Take Back the Night to be really important, because it's hard to realize the sheer diversity of people and situations that are affected by this issue; and because SMC is a campus that is so tuned into issues of social justice, having displays like this is very fitting. Other events that I've been able to participate in related to this issue (thanks to CWG) include the Take Back the Night rally in Burlington, as well as other various lectures.

Another reason the CWG has been a big part of my SMC experience is that I went there weekly for Common Ground meetings. Common Ground is a group on campus that focuses on issues of and related to the LGBT community, and it's a very active club! I did a post early in the spring semester about the It Gets Better video they made, and then in March we managed to bring LZ Granderson to speak on campus. If you're interested, it's a great group to be involved in, and I highly recommend it.

(Sorry for the plug ;p)

One more reason the CWG is awesome is because there are a kitchen and lounge there for student use. Some friends of mine had a "family breakfast" there last semester, and during finals there are a ton of emails advertising the space for studying. It is really cozy in there and makes for a chill environment (say, for club meetings? ;p).

The CWG has a lot to offer, and if you hear about something  going on there that interests you, definitely check it out! You won't regret it. :)

Thanks for reading!

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