Simon Fraser University Women's Centre

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Simon Fraser University Women's Centre

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Description area

Dates of existence

1974 -

History

The SFU Women's Centre was established in 1974 and continues as of this writing (2009) as an active organization. Funded by the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) as a constituency group, the Women's Centre provides programming, space and volunteer opportunities to self-identified women on campus, and resource information and peer support to women and men.

The Women's Centre began in 1974 when a group of women students revived the SFU Women's Caucus (originally established in 1968) and obtained SFSS club status. It opened the Women's Centre that year in a small room in the Rotunda. In 1980 the Centre moved to the Academic Quadrangle, then in 1996 back to the Rotunda (TC3013), doubling its physical space to approximately 1400 square feet.

The Centre's organizational structure has evolved over time. The Women's Centre Steering Committee developed out of the Women's Caucus, but by 1977 it had merged with the Women's Centre Collective. The Collective consists of women students who volunteer a set number of hours per week to staff the Centre and remains the decision-making body of the Centre. In 1979-80, the Women's Centre Board was created to formulate policy, promote the Centre, liaise with the university community, locate funding sources, and work closely with the Collective, which continued to be responsible for day-to-day operations and activities. The Board included representatives from SFSS, the Women's Centre Collective, the Women's Studies Department, the Women's Studies Student Union, and female administrative and clerical university staff. By the mid-1980s the Board was meeting irregularly; it was discontinued in 1990, its functions transferred to a newly created part-time paid position of Coordinator, funded by and reporting to the SFSS.

The Women's Centre provides a number of services, including a women-only lounge open 24 hours a day, a resource office, peer support, library, kitchen facilities, study carrels, couches and a quiet play area for children in the lounge. Men can access the Centre's library materials, peer support, and referral information.

Since its establishment, the Centre has undertaken numerous activities and projects. In cooperation with other campus groups, the Centre promoted the creation of a Women's Studies Department, the institution of a university harassment policy and office, the improvement of campus childcare facilities, and the organization of International Women's Day events, December 6 vigils, and women's self-defense classes.

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Relationships area

Related entity

Simon Fraser Student Society

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1974 -

Description of relationship

Simon Fraser University Women's Centre reports to Simon Fraser Student Society

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Maintenance notes

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