The Women’s Center celebrated its 25th Anniversary of providing services to the community on Wednesday, March 25. The Women’s Center has provided aid for both men and women, along with counseling, and special events focused on social justice.
The anniversary event featured posters from past events like Women on Wednesdays, past performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” and the Code Pink events at the St. Cloud State campus. Many in the audience were former staff members who returned and greeted each other like old friends. Passersby in who found their way in were welcomed to join in.
The event featured a quick video address from Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was in Washington at the time. Klobuchar offered her praise to the Women’s Center for the work they have done, and filled the audience in on the work done for women and men.
Speakers included Wanda Overland who delivered an address from the President’s Office, and Women’s Center Directors Lee LaDue and Jane Olsen.
Overland noted that SCSU’s Respect and Responsibility program, founded in 1992, is one of the first Gender Violence Programs required in the country. Overland showed her gratitude for the staff of the Women’s Center, calling the small staff “mighty and powerful.”
“I am proud of the work that has occurred with sexual assault, being a pioneer for mandatory programing and gender violence programs and services.” Overland said.
“Make the most of the opportunity to work with talented and passionate staff,” Overland said directed at prospective members. “The experience will have impacts on their lives beyond [their] time at SCSU.”
Director of the LGBT Resource Center Brandon Johnson and Interim Director for Career Services Michelle Schmitz also added encouraging words about the Women’s Center’s involvement on campus and within St. Cloud community.
“They are not afraid to tackle an issue that’s controversial,” Johnson said. Johnson credited the center on their inclusion of the LGBT community, before SCSU had a specific center.
“In addition, progress on feminist issues can occur in conjunction with, or outside of the Women’s Center,” Olsen said. ” This sometimes happens through student organizations we are affiliated with, including Women’s Action, Students for Sexual Consent and Students for Choice.”
Johnson said that that our society will learn to look out for each other, and that in another 25 years the Women’s Center can say that they have provided aid to those who need it, and to include men in the conversation of feminism.