The Women’s Center is a valuable resource for many students around campus. With an office environment composed of a mix of professional staff and student employees, they offer more than support; students can utilize the center for relaxation, meetings, education and as a place of acceptance.
Daniel Morgan, a junior elementary education major, works in the center as a gender equity peer educator focusing on masculinity and LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, ally, asexual) issues.
“The Women’s Center is a valuable resource to all Boise State students,” Morgan said. “Not just for the people that could be affected by it, like the LGBTQIA community here on campus, but it also offers education to students who maybe aren’t sure what LGBTQIA stands for or people who don’t know what transgender means or how privilege works.”
Adriane Bang, violence prevention and support coordinator, explained gender identity in more detail.
“Sexual orientation and gender identity are all pieces of our identity, everyone has one,” Bang said. “Sometimes people use the umbrella term of queer but as you might imagine, other folks find that to not be descriptive of who they are, so folks spell it out in this kind of acronym.”
Bang continued to say the biggest part in helping people understand who the center is and what the center does is by letting people know the center is really interested in starting conversations around gender.
“The support services are really based around gender,” Bang said. “Any of the different kinds of issues they (students) see on our site, they are definitely our focus areas, particularly LGBTQIA and healthy relationships, nontraditional students, masculinity, those kinds of core areas.”
According to their website, The Women’s Center hosts numerous events and workshops on the Boise State campus including ally trainings, bystander intervention trainings, healthy relationships and other gender related topics.
There’s a variety of ways for people to get involved with the center, according to Bang. She suggests starting with their mailing list to find out what they’re all about.
“Folks can come in and just walk through the center,” Bang said. “We give tours all the time, every single day, whenever we’re open.”
Historically women faced marginalization and difficulty accessing secondary education as well as transitioning to the work place, so according to Bang, women’s centers developed nationwide to address those needs. Women’s centers provide support giving women equal access to education in addition to many other programs and policies.
“The Women’s Center today functions in core support of that but also provides a lot of other support services to folks in many different identities,” Bang said.