Women’s Resource Center Empowers, Educates, and Celebrates Women

by Sarah Reinhart ’10

Today’s college students face some substantial gender-specific issues, and it is imperative to provide programs that allow them to learn about and address these problems. The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) at APU provides such resources. Though targeted at undergraduate women, their goal is to educate the entire APU community about a wide range of current women’s issues, empower students to take action, and celebrate women and their unique abilities and accomplishments.

“Part of being a resource includes facilitating education,” said Shino Simons, Ph.D., vice president of student affairs. The WRC sponsors several annual events addressing key topics help accomplish this objective. The Clothesline Project, which typically occurs in Seven Palms amphitheater, is a national project that allows survivors of domestic violence to express their experiences by decorating a shirt to hang on a clothesline in Seven Palms. Each t-shirt tells the story of a participant. The week-long event incorporates seminars, hosts guest lecturers, and raises awareness of the frequent occurrence of this devastating problem.

Red Flag Week is a program which raises awareness about dating violence and unhealthy relationships. During the week-long event, APU lawns are lined with red flags to bring attention to campaign posters which identify unhealthy behavior in relationships such as coercion, jealousy, and isolation. This event encourages students to not only recognize “red flag” behavior but to verbalize their concerns regarding current situations in their own lives. The week’s programs included a panel discussion and seminars specific to identifying “red flag” behaviors, and provided practical tools and helpful resources to address such behaviors.

Brown Bag Lunch Discussions occur monthly and invite faculty members from various disciplines to present current research on gender issues in an informal setting. These informative and dynamic discussions cover a wide range of topics, including gender communication, codependency, women in the Bible, and men in the women’s movement, among others. Aimed at facilitating meaningful conversation and thought, these hour-long sessions allow students to interact with the presenter and with other audience members in a question-and-answer format.

The WRC partners closely with the University Counseling Center and the Office of Spiritual Life to provide resources and help students connect with other professionals on campus. The staff at the center also sits on various Student Affairs committees in order to stay in touch with current issues and discussion occurring among the student body.

For additional information on the Women’s Resource Center and to find out about upcoming events, please call (626) 815-2068.