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Cornell University

Frequently Asked Question

What is the need for a women's resource center?

Since the 1970s, university women's centers have been responding to inequities experienced by women in and out of the classroom. Women's centers serve as a centralized campus location where students, staff, and faculty can access information and address a multitude of women's issues and concerns. Today, women's centers provide the university community a chance to actively take part in identifying and addressing current women's and gender related issues, working on climate and policy issues, and creating a wide array of educational programming.Cornell University has had a strong history of providing a quality coeducational experience for women and men alike. We were one of the first universities in the Northeast to admit women, one of the first to have a Women's Studies Program, and one of the first to engage in an assessment of the climate for women in 1973. However, women in higher education continue to have a "gendered" educational experience—whether it be issues of sexual harassment or sexual assault, absence of role models and mentors, safety or childcare. As a student organization the WRC provides resources, information, and referral; educational programming, and advocacy and support in order to foster a more vibrant campus community by supporting the full and active participation of women students in both their personal and educational pursuits.

How does the WRC work with the Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program?

The WRC has a strong connection with the Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. The WRC provides a multitude of resources, activities and opportunities for FGSS students and faculty. For students pursuing a FGSS Undergraduate Minor, Undergraduate Concentration, or Graduate Minor, the WRC allows a place for theory and praxis to merge through experiential learning, activism, and community service opportunities. To find out more about the Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program call (607) 255-6480.

What are some reasons why someone would visit the Women's Resource Center?

There are many reasons why someone would visit the Women's Resource Center. Here are a few:

  • To browse our brochure and handout collection. Looking for information on dating, stress, health, sexual harassment, or on the many local agencies in Tompkins County? We have the resources and staff to help.
  • Because we have a great lending library. Over 1,200 books, cool magazines and topical files. Whether writing a paper or reading for pleasure, be sure to check us out.
  • To get involved in a community service project that serves women in our community. This year we held a variety of fundraisers to support the Advocacy Center in Ithaca, which provides prevention education and support services to those affected by sexual or domestic violence in Tompkins County.
  • To meet new people with interesting opinions, diverse experiences, and a common vision—a safe and welcoming community where all people are valued!

What do you want to do this year?

  • To volunteer for the center. The WRC is always looking for volunteers to plan programs, staff the office, or just hang fliers. Get back to your Rosie the Riveter roots and say "We Can Do It!"
  • Attend a virtual WRC program or workshop. Discuss current events over dinner with some friends at Chat That. Have movie night with us at Beyond the Bechdel. You'll get to meet other people from across campus who are interested in women's issues. Here's your chance to make friends, meet cool people, be an activist or an advocate or an observer—you're always welcome.
  • Learn how to be an agent for change. After all, this campus is your home. If you want to work on improving the climate for women, changing a policy, or raising awareness, we'd be happy to help you get started.

How can I become involved?

Here are just a few of the ways in which you can become involved with the WRC:

  • Join Friends of the WRC
  • Subscribe to the WRC listserv
  • Help develop, design, and deliver programs and events
  • Attend WRC sponsored and co-sponsored events
  • Visit the lending library when we’re back in person!
  • Organize a fundraiser or community service project
  • Act as a liaison between the WRC and other organizations that you are involved with
  • Study, hang out, join us for lunch, or browse through our resources (virtually for now!)
  • Help staff the office
  • Assist with tabling, chalking, and hanging fliers--in other words, help us spread the word!

Can men and other people who do not identify as women become involved in the Women's Resource Center?

Yes! Men and people of any gender identity can be and are involved with the Women's Resource Center. People of all genders may utilize our resources and services, attend our programs, participate in community service activities, support our efforts, and join our various student organizations focused on gender justice and equity. Seeing as it is important to have allies of all identities involved in all movements for social justice, there are plenty of ways to get involved and be an ally. Male identifying students can follow our social media, join our events, read feminist literature, and show up for women and gender marginalized folks as supporters and allies. If you are a man and have questions or want to learn more about the WRC, you can contact us here.