Women’s Resource Center introduces new programs to include all students

Erin Dean

Tutoring, special events, counseling among new features available to all

The Women’s Resource Center now houses more than just numerous informational brochures lining the entry walls. In efforts to advertise the center, director Heather Adams began collaborating with organizations on campus, in hopes to establish a friendly and familiar atmosphere among students.

“I want it to be a welcoming place,” said Adams, who became director last April. “I want to be able to draw people in with the programming and resources offered.”

The center, located off Midway Drive, began collaborating with other departments on campus such as the Academic Success Center by offering math tutoring from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday through Thursday. The Center also offers its library as a quiet place to study or research for graduate and undergraduate students.

“It’s really become popular for students on front campus,” Adams said. “The tutoring is convenient since the other location is in the Michael Schwartz Center, and the library is wireless and perfect for students to come work on projects or papers between classes.”

Graduate assistant Mitzi Hutchins has noticed the increasing use of the resources.

“Many students are coming in on a regular basis and taking advantage of the tutoring or study rooms we offer,” Hutchins said.

The center also started a brown bag lunch series this month, offering events for different groups such as Kent RunHers. The social and active support group for women movers is part of the “Active Women Series.”

“The response to this group is great,” Adams said. “There are a lot of students, particularly freshmen, who ran competitively in high school but don’t compete on the collegiate level.”

Joining the brown bag lunch series is “Lunch with the Author.” Throughout the semester, several women authors, including two Kent State professors, will be the guests of honor at a lunch open to all.

Aside from the special events, daily resources such as crisis intervention counseling are always available. Adams stressed that while it is a women’s resource center, they have never turned away men.

“We are always welcoming to everyone,” she said. “Some men come in for themselves, others come to discuss issues with their mom, sister or girlfriend they are concerned about.”

For students who don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone, the center provides informational brochures on a variety of women’s issues from anorexia and breast cancer to other health-related and relationship issues.

Adams said her main focus has been getting out the annual calendar for the center.

“The center was dormant for about nine months before I took the position,” Adams said. “Once I caught my breath and settled in here, I really wanted to work on getting some of those lovely traditions and events back that the center used to do.”

Hutchins said Adams has done a great job since becoming director in April.

“She’s trying to incorporate her own ideas and visions for the center while maintaining those traditions that have been around,” Hutchins said.

In other efforts to open the center up to everyone, Adams said she invites student groups on campus to hold meetings there.

“It’s a great place for groups who needs somewhere to meet,” Adams said. “PRIDE!Kent just held a training session for their Safe Space program, and I encourage other groups to take advantage of the space.”

For upcoming events, Adams is planning sessions focused to help women in issues such as financial planning, car repair, legal planning and self-defense.

“We have a lot of ideas starting to get in motion,” she said. “We really just want to get that information out there to students to let them know what’s offered. It is important to us that students, faculty and staff know they’re welcomed.”

Contact student life reporter Erin Dean at [email protected].