The Boston University Women's Resource Center, one of the only women's centers in the nation run completely by student volunteers, has shown us the power of perseverance and just how much you can do with limited resources. For their awesome ambition and dedication to creating a safe space for women on campus, the BU Women's Resource Center wins a FEMMY!
The Women's Resource Center officially opened its doors on October 18, 2008, but it has a long and storied history. For more than 30 years, feminists on campus worked to establish a women's center at BU as a permanent home for their very active student group. When the women's center space was finally granted to them, students quickly put together a detailed organizational structure that guarantees the WRC can put on tons of events and be a comfortable space for conversation around gender and sexuality issues, despite the lack of a large budget or paid staff.
A thirteen person board runs the Center, with the help of fifty student volunteers. The WRC is open every weekday from 10 am - 5 pm as a safe space where students can ask questions and get referrals from volunteers to different services on campus.
In the evenings, the WRC hosts a wide range of events, opening its space for all sorts of student groups and interests every week. Students are encouraged to plan events that fit their passions--among the topics most heavily covered this semester were women's health (including events on birth control and alternative menstrual projects) and feminist art. The WRC honors an artist every month by displaying her work in the Center and hosts open mic nights. Last month, artist Erin McKeowan performed at the WRC's Women Rock Concert, which raised money for FMF's Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls. Another highlight of the semester was a film screening of the feminist anti-pornography documentary The Price of Pleasure, after which a feminist porn director spoke to offer an alternative viewpoint. Co-coordinator Sarah Sullivan emphasizes that the WRC is a place for "non-discriminatory discource on gender and sexuality," and that the WRC does not shy away from respectful debate.
The WRC stays connected with the BU student body through its listserv, Facebook group, and Twitter. Check them out and consider them an feminist inspiration--if you have the passion, vision, and dedication, there is little your group cannot overcome.
This article was featured in our May 2010 monthly Choices eZine. Sign up for our alerts to stay up-to-date with the latest feminist news and to receive the monthly eZine.