The Daily Evergreen

Women’s Center seeks to help all students

Programs, resources attempt to provide services for students

Program+Coordinator+Jennifer+Murray+encourages+anyone+to+utilize+the+Women%E2%80%99s+Center%2C+which+offers+resources+for+everyone.+
Program Coordinator Jennifer Murray encourages anyone to utilize the Women’s Center, which offers resources for everyone.

Program Coordinator Jennifer Murray encourages anyone to utilize the Women’s Center, which offers resources for everyone.

MATT ESTABROOK | The Daily Evergreen

MATT ESTABROOK | The Daily Evergreen

Program Coordinator Jennifer Murray encourages anyone to utilize the Women’s Center, which offers resources for everyone.

CATHERINE TAYLOR, Evergreen reporter

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The Women’s Resource Center, located on the ground floor of Wilson-Short Hall, is a somewhat hidden support here on campus for all WSU students.

Program Coordinator Jennifer Murray is originally from Portland, Maine, which is an activist town, she said. Murray’s love and fascination for social sciences led her to major in sociology with a minor in economics.

“Everyone who walks in here is actively engaged in trying to make the world a better place,” Murray said, “and my job is to help them do that and it turns out that’s really cool and really fun.”

Without WRC, she said there wouldn’t be a specific safe place on campus for individuals to go and discuss gender-related issues.

Murray, along with the rest of the WRC staff, have all stayed with the center through various changes. With new Director Amy Sharp in charge, the WRC underwent reorganization in order to meet the vision that Sharp had for the center.

Thanks to the generosity of WSU students and surrounding community members, the WRC has a free food pantry, Rosario’s Place, which is open to all. Murray said WRC staff fully understands the daily struggles that arise, and they tirelessly work to help minimize the impact that food insecurity can have on students.

“It’s really hard to tell from the outside which students may be struggling with food insecurity,” said Murray.

Not only does Rosario’s Place offer support for those who have an unstable food source, Murray said they also offer feminine hygiene products, gently used clothing for children younger than 6 years old, books, small toys, diapers and other limited baby gear for student-parents. In order to further help parents, the Center’s Lavender Room also doubles as a lactation space.

Along with the physical resources they offer, Murray said they truly strive to provide help and a safe haven for all WSU students.

“We are a student support center, just like the centers on the fourth floor of the CUB,” said Murray. “It’s a drop in space, with a lounge, computer lab, library … if you have unmet needs we’ll try to help you figure them out.”

Despite what the name may indicate, WRC’s doors are open to absolutely anyone who feels they can utilize the resources they have provided, Murray said. They ask for people to respect the space and the individuals who come in looking for a safe and inviting atmosphere.

“Anyone of any gender is welcome here,” said Murray. “Places like this exist to look forward to gender equity and diversity. That’s what we want to support. We want people to feel like their whole selves are accepted here.”

WRC also runs Cougar Safe Rides, which is an entirely volunteer-based program, which is available to anyone who may be intoxicated or feel uncomfortable walking home alone.

Murray mentioned these programs can only function with the help of volunteers, and they’re always on the lookout for drivers and dispatchers willing to help out.

While WRC won’t solve every issue individuals deal with, it gives people the opportunity to access some of the resources they need, Murray said.

Anyone interested in more information can visit WRC’s website.

 

 

 

 

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Women’s Center seeks to help all students