UAF Women’s Center continues to operate without coordinator

Josh Hartman / Sun Star

This school year the Women’s Center is operating without a coordinator.  Last school year, this position was held by Kayt Sunwood, who is no longer the coordinator because of a change

Shirliy Morin (left) and Jerzy Ellanna (right) relax in front of the Women’s Center Library. Students can check books out from the library and they can view the catalog of all the books from the UAF Women’s Center website. - Josh Hartman / Sun Star

Shirliy Morin (left) and Jerzy Ellanna (right) relax in front of the Women’s Center Library. Students can check books out from the library and they can view the catalog of all the books from the UAF Women’s Center website. – Josh Hartman / Sun Star

in the employment relationship with the university, according to Cody Rogers, Assistant Director of Programming for UAF Student Activities

The Women’s Center reports to Rogers. She also helps with making Women’s Center sponsored programs.

In place of Sunwood, the center has a Graduate Student Coordinator. Their job is to oversee the center’s day to day operations and student employee as well as plan and carry out events. The Student Coordinator this year is Haley Hanson.

The center is staffed with the same number of people as it was with a coordinator and it runs 35 hours a week.

“I don’t think that anything is different,” Hanson said.  “If anything we’re trying to pump out more events, trying to create that sense of community.”

Whether or not a new coordinator for the Women’s Center will be hired is currently unclear due to financial issues.

“The Women’s Center budget also took a hit, so that’s a major concern for funding a position in the future,” Rogers said.

The semester is about two months in, so it will be hard to tell if not having a coordinator will be a problem as time goes on, according to Rogers.

The UAF Women’s Center is a place where students, faculty and staff can go take part in engaging with, celebrating and empowering women, LGBT members and other allies in the community. The center works toward educating people about gender-related issues and provides a comfortable space for women and others, according to the Women’s Center website.

“The Women’s Center does a lot of programming for students on campus around healthy relationships; we’re starting to do more programming around violence prevention and intervention,” Rogers said. “One of our overarching goals is to create a sense of community.”

The Center was established at UAF in 1982 and was was moved to it’s current location three years ago. Before then it was located in a single room in Wickersham hall.

The Women’s Center is located in room 130 of the Wood Center and is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.

Anyone can come in and learn about Women’s Center sponsored programs, to get resources or just to relax and do homework in the main area according to Hanson.

The Women’s Center website includes a list of resources, on and off campus, to take action in empowering women in the community. This list includes links to resources such as Title IX, Women in Science and Engineering,  Alaska Native Women’s Coalition and Planned Parenthood.

“The Women’s Center is open to all — not just women, ” Rogers said. “We really want to hear from students what types of events and services they want to see on our campus.”

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