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New director supports female students

Women’s Resource Center director is ready to apply her experience at WSU

Director+Amy+Sharp+says+many+people+don%E2%80%99t+know+about+the+many+types+of+assistance+available+%0Aat+the+Women%E2%80%99s+Resource+Center%2C+including+a+food+pantry+and+Rosario%E2%80%99s+Place.
Director Amy Sharp says many people don’t know about the many types of assistance available 
at the Women’s Resource Center, including a food pantry and Rosario’s Place.

Director Amy Sharp says many people don’t know about the many types of assistance available at the Women’s Resource Center, including a food pantry and Rosario’s Place.

RACHEL SUN | The Daily Evergreen

RACHEL SUN | The Daily Evergreen

Director Amy Sharp says many people don’t know about the many types of assistance available at the Women’s Resource Center, including a food pantry and Rosario’s Place.

JENNIFER FORSMANN, Evergreen reporter

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The new director of the WSU Women’s Resource Center, Amy Sharp is already familiar with the Moscow-Pullman community.
Sharp, who arrived in Pullman last week, spent her entire life in Idaho. Born in Kuna, Idaho, she graduated from Kuna High School and then from the University of Idaho with a degree in visual communication.

Sharp considers herself as a “Jane-of-all-trades,” because the degree she earned taught her skills for film art, radio and news production, broadcasting, video editing and web design. For a short amount of time, she worked as a news editor.

“I hated it,” she said. “I’m passionate about the news, but I’m also passionate about other things.”

Sharp said the experience she has gained from her past jobs has prepared her for this position.
“You can toss me anywhere, and I will be like ‘OK, let me talk to these people,’ ” she said. “I feel pretty comfortable talking to strangers.”

The inspiration for Sharp applying for the position in the Women’s Resource Center derived from her time spent at UI, when she first joined her multicultural sorority, Gamma Alpha Omega. Sharp said meetings were held in the women’s center which is when she first became familiar with the organization.

A friend of Sharp’s later suggested to her that she should apply to the advisor position available at the center. Sharp said the job allowed her to meet several feminists as well as learn about her own feminism.

“That experience has stuck with me ever since,” she said. “The director at the time, I looked at her and I was like, ‘I want her job.’ ”
Sharp explained that she didn’t know how she was going to do it, but she wanted to work in a women’s center someday.

“I understood that I needed to gain a lot of experience in other parts of the university to be able to be a director,” she said.

Her work as a charter student life manager, retention counselor and academic adviser allowed her to gain the experience she needed to fill the position she has today.

“When this position opened up, I was like, ‘that’s my dream job right there,’ ” she said.

Even though she is no longer located in Idaho, Sharp loves WSU and said it feels like home.

“[This is my dream] because it combines the social justice piece of supporting students and it looks out and gives the resources to students no matter their race or gender,” she said.

JAKE A. RINN | Daily Evergreen File
Participants of “Take Back the Night,” an event sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, advocate for consent, as seen on Oct. 15, 2015.

Sharp said her roles as director includes looking at budgets, building bridges across the community and universities, supporting “Drive to 25” and reaching out to more students.

“I’m here as their flagship for what they are doing,” she said. “Making sure they get their funding, getting the word out, and also supporting WSU and understanding that we need to make sure we are supporting our cougar women.”

Sharp said the Women’s Resource Center has several resources she wants to continue and grow, while creating new resources for groups that may not be as recognized, such as female veteran students and single parents. For example, the Women’s Resource Center has an open food pantry and a Rosario’s Place for single parents.

“This center here has kind of been dormant,” she said. “I’m ready to bring it back into a golden age.”

Sharp said there are several plans for projects. Some projects include working with the Commission on the Status of Women, creating a leadership conference for faculty, staff and students, recreating Women’s Transit and growing clubs.

“[We] want to make sure we are blazing a trail, but also recognizing the national trend,” she said. “Sometimes you get your horse blinders on and you don’t recognize things you could be doing.”

One of the major tasks Sharp has been assigned is getting Women’s Transit back up and going.

“The students that founded the program did their homework,” she said. “For me, it’s about us getting a decent budget and having it run smoothly and efficiently.”

Sharp said the direction the center will go in the future is dependent on community’s needs, recognizing those needs and deciding how to fulfill them.

“We want to be able to represent as many different options as possible,” she said. Sharp wants to do more community outreach and advocate for them, not just WSU. “If students need something, you can assume the community does too.”

Sharp said the Women’s Resource Center is open for everyone, no matter their gender.

“We have open doors to allow others to have a voice,” she said. “Although, everywhere else can be the men’s center. Women need a place of their own, a place to flourish.”

The Women’s Resource Center is located across from the CUB on the ground floor of Wilson-Short Hall, Room 8.

“I have an open door policy so if students want to say hi or stop by, I encourage it,” Sharp said. “Faculty and staff as well. My plan is to get around to as many people as possible.”

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