Women's Center Only For Women?
Throughout the month of March Santa Monica College celebrates Women's History Month, as we honor women of SMC. But as we celebrate various acts of women, it is hard to believe that on a campus of over 20,000 students, so many students are unaware of the Women's Center and the services that they offer.
Contrary to the name, the Women's Center and Women's College open their doors to all races and genders. "The women's center does not discriminate. Even though our resources are geared toward women they are not solely for women.Anyone in need can come for help," said Pat Galloway, Women's Center secretary.
The Women's Center was established on campus in the late '90s and continues to make a difference today. Located in the Physical Education Annex room 100, the center serves an estimated 15-20 students and offers resources/referrals such as assistance with homeless shelters, attorney listings and child care. Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday Kym McBride provides academic counseling which helps students with transferring and class selection.
Before the drastic government budget cuts, the Women's Center offered plentiful services. "Due to the budget cuts, programs such as workshops and personal counseling are no longer available," said Galloway.
Although the Women's Center may not have the resources to provide more programs, other clubs such as Pico Partnership offer workshops that include the volunteer services of McBride. In June the Women's Center will distribute two awards: the Associated Students Child Care Award and Paul and the Leslie Ridley-Tree Single Parents Fund.
While the Women's Center is a resource the Women's College concentrates on the social aspect. Located next door to the Women's Center, the Women's College offers classes, an AA degree in Women's Studies, and the Women's College Student Association. WCSA, a student club, focus on human rights and feminism. The club offers a Little Sister program every year that brings 30 at-risk girls from Jordan High School to SMC. "This gives the girls a taste of what college is like," said Malena Traverso, president of WCSA. With eight members WCSA is always looking for new people to join."We're a very multi-cultural club, but we would like more diversity within the club," said Traverso.
"We want people who join to know you don't have to create drastic changes to change the world," said Emily Flores, Women's College ICC representative.
If in either Women's Center or joining WSCA, both are located in the P.E Annex. WCSA meet every week on Thursday at 11:15 a.m. in the Women's College.