In 1971, two years after women entered the University as full-time, degree-earning undergraduates and ten years after the first women graduate students entered the University, the Women's Center was established. Organized and run by students, the Center's original purpose was to provide a forum for the support and advancement of the feminist movement. Early meetings consisted of consciousness-raising sessions for women on such topics as relations with other women, childhood, and the effect of the media on women's self-image. A core group of a dozen women met in the Green Hall Annex (now Aaron Burr Hall) and developed an ambitious agenda for the future of the Center, including a film course, "Women and Their Bodies," and a program on employment opportunities for women in a male-oriented job market.
By the fall of 1974, the Women's Center had formally acquired space in Aaron Burr Hall. Making decisions by consensus, a board of students guided the Center and organized programming and outreach activities, with a more diverse focus on issues of relationships, classroom dynamics, sexual harassment, religious faith, and politics.
In 1978, the Office of the Dean of Students assumed administrative oversight of the Center. In fall 1986, in preparation for hiring the first full-time director, the Women's Center Study Committee issued a report whose recommendations led to University-wide efforts on behalf of women, including creation of the President's Standing Committee on the Status of Women (1989) and completion of the first Women's Needs Assessment (1989).
Currently the Center staff consists of a full-time director, an office assistant, student program assistants, and a graduate intern. Student volunteers, work-study staff, and student organizations also make significant contributions to the Center's purpose and vitality. In the fall of 2000, the Women's Center moved to it's present location in Frist Campus Center.
Please take a look around and visit often, as updates will take place throughout the summer.