Announcing our Spring 2015 Board!

Congratulations to the new Spring 2015 board of the Yale Women's Center. In addition to their own role-specific responsibilities, all board members are responsible for managing the operations of one of the only entirely student-run college women's centers in the country. They strive to create a Center that improves the lives of women, breaks down societal gender roles, and is a safe space for anyone to find their own feminist voice. We are especially proud to welcome our three new board members, Cassie Lignelli, Alexa Derman, and Keni Sabath.

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Our board members for the semester are:
  • Laura Kellman - Head Coordinator
  • Ishrat Mannan - Constituency Coordinator
  • Isabel Cruz - Outreach Coordinator
  • Austen James - Business Coordinator
  • Cassie Lignelli - Special Events Coordinator
  • Keni Sabath - Political Action Coordinator
  • Alexa Derman - Public Relations Coordinator

A Women's Center Public Statement: Why We Signed The MSA's Letter: “Dear Friends: More Speech, Not Hate Speech”

On Wednesday, September 10th 2014, the Yale Muslim Students Association (MSA) and thirty co-signing student organizations published an open letter entitled “Dear Friends: More Speech, Not Hate Speech.” The letter addressed a September 15th 2014 lecture sponsored by the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the subject “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West.” The Yale Women’s Center was one of the student organizations that signed this letter, and we remain committed to its content. We issue this statement today in an attempt to clarify our position and address some concerns that we have heard recently from those critical of our support. We hope to correct common misconceptions about the letter’s content, open a dialogue about how universities and organizations can think critically about speakers who espouse inflammatory, derogatory, or factually incorrect beliefs, and explain how our intersectional politics influence how we view all speakers.

The open letter "Dear Friends: More Speech, Not Hate Speech" did not ask the Buckley Program to disinvite Hirsi Ali. Instead, the letter called for the addition of another balanced and informed voice to complement hers. We do not believe that this amounts to an attempt to “silence” Hirsi Ali’s voice. We hoped for more dialogue, not less.

The Women’s Center stands for free speech, and of course this right extends to speech about one’s personal experiences and beliefs. However, universities and campus organizations have the right and responsibility to think critically about speakers who negatively target a certain identity group of students – whether that group is defined by gender, sexuality, religion, race, or other form of identity – especially when the speaker is the given the privileged platform of a formal lecture at Yale. Students should carefully reflect on how such a platform might legitimize the ideas of the speaker, and how this might negatively influence campus culture, the culture of a place we all call home. Verbal attacks like the ones cited in the open letter are rooted in an oppressive history of discrimination and “othering.” By promoting it on campus, Hirsi Ali perpetuates and legitimizes the cycle of prejudice into classrooms, social life, and long-lasting student opinions.

We believe that feminist activism calls for the end to all types of oppression. Activism that seeks to lift up one group at the expense of another, be it through racism, classism, or homophobia, is immoral and ineffective. While the Yale Women’s Center does not wish to discredit any part of Hirsi Ali’s experiences, we stand against her claims that suggest that Muslim women are inherently oppressed as a class. Muslim women have a diversity of lived experiences and interpret religious text and cultural practices in a variety of ways that defy blanket generalizations such as the ones Hirsi Ali has made. Claims like hers fracture the feminist community, and are in direct opposition to the intersectional feminist approaches to which the Women’s Center is committed. No community is devoid of sexism. We must turn the lens on ourselves as well as others.

We hope that Hirsi Ali continues to advocate for women’s rights in a way that is respectful to all other forms of overlapping identities that women have and recognize that sexism is not rooted in a particular race, religion, or creed. If we move forward with recognition that our battles are linked across many platforms we can each hope to make Yale a place where true solidarity can bloom.

Sincerely,

The Yale Women's Center Board

The WC is Hiring!

The Women's Center is now hiring staffers for the 2014-2015 year! Staffers welcome visitors to the Center and provide necessary assistance as possible. Staffers conduct routine administrative tasks as well as taking on their own special projects to further the work of the Center and feminism on campus. To apply, please fill out the linked job posting on Student Employment and send the application supplement to the Women's Center Board at wcboard@panlists.yale.edu by September 3rd.

https://www.yalestudentjobs.org/JobXJobDetail.aspx?JobId=8498&s=1

https://docs.google.com/a/yale.edu/document/d/1Lb6g8K7oFx1WM01AKEtNKgGxi5oQaxVcgnsCci3wBHg/edit

Welcome Class of 2018!

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Dear Feminists of the Class of 2018!

Greetings from the Yale Women's Center! We'd like to welcome you into the Yale community and give you a quick introduction to the Women's Center and how you can get involved during Camp Yale and beyond.

In 1970, the Yale Women's Center was founded to provide a safe space for women on campus and to promote gender equality in New Haven and beyond. Continuing the legacy of cultivating feminist activism and improving the lives of women at Yale and in New Haven, the Women's Center is now the umbrella organization for groups on Yale's campus and beyond that deal with issues of gender and sexuality. Open Sunday-Thursday 4-10 PM, the Women's Center serves as an open space with free resources, including condoms and pregnancy tests. On top of this, the Women's Center also works to promote discussion and activism concerning feminist issues by hosting a variety of events, including the annual Amy Rossborough lecture and Take Back the Night. (See the "Events" tab to learn more.)

Every year we seek to expand our impact and advance feminist causes in New Haven and beyond, and we would love for YOU to join us! There are tons of ways for you to get involved, starting from when you arrive on campus. During Camp Yale, we'll be hosting events--including a Women's Center Open House and a Bluebooking (aka picking courses) party--to welcome you to the feminist community at Yale. You can also sign up to have lunch with a member of the Women's Center to give you a chance to get to know us better and maybe even make new feminist upperclass(wo)man friends (sign-ups will be sent out in August)! Once the semester starts, we'll have a full calendar of events for you to check out, including regular discussions and more. We'll also be accepting applications for staffers for the Center (a job description should be up on the Student Employment Website soon).

If you'd like to learn more about the Women's Center, please visit our website at http://www.yale.edu/wc or our Facebook page, or send us an email at wcboard@panlists.yale.edu! Email Annemarie at annemarie.mcdaniel@yale.edu if you want to receive our weekly newsletter. We would love to hear from you, and invite you to reach out to us with any questions or concerns (related to the Women's Center or otherwise). Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we hope to meet you all in August. Best,

The Yale Women's Center Board
Isabel, Titi, Laura, Elizabeth, Ishrat, Annemarie, and Austen

Welcome!

Welcome to the website for the Yale Women's Center! Here you can find the Center's constitution, our board members' contact information, materials related to the Amy Rossborough Fellowship, descriptions of our residence groups, answers to frequently asked questions, and upcoming events.

Updated information can always be found at our Facebook page.

If you cannot find what you need here, feel free to contact us at wcboard@panlists.yale.edu with any questions, concerns, comments, or suggestions that you might have. Alternatively, stop into the Center located at 198 Elm Street on Sunday-Thursday from 4-10 pm to meet our staffers, stock up on supplies, attend our events, or bring your thoughts to a live person. We're always looking for more people to get involved and would love to hear your input.

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Women's Center Essay and Art Competition!

Announcing the winners of...

FEMINISM TODAY: A Yale Women’s Center essay and art competition

Essay Division: