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The History of the Women’s Resource Center
The Women’s Resource Center at Texas A&M opened in the Fall of 2001 after several attempts to open a center for women at the university. The Texas A&M administration felt a concern over the retention and treatment of women on campus after some negative and national attention regarding gender issues at the university. This concern, coupled with a lack of visible programs for women, put the university in a good position to improve the climate for female students, staff, and faculty.
This early Women’s Resource Center was located in Academic Building, and focused primarily on providing research resources, working with the Women’s Studies Program, and offering meeting space and a library of resources for Women’s Studies. Programming during this initial era of the Women’s Resource Center included a movie series, a lunchtime lecture series, the University Women of Color Network, “Be a Friend” Workshop for Sexual Assault Survivors, and Aggie Women in Leadership.
In the Fall of 2005, the Women’s Resource Center and Gender Issues Education Services merged to create one office – the Women’s and Gender Equity Resource Center. These two centers were combined in the hopes of creating cohesion and eliminating confusion, as both offices had similar missions on campus. The new Women’s & Gender Equity Resource Center (WGERC) functioned to “celebrate the achievements of women and LGBT people while calling to attention and challenging the barriers that inhibit the full inclusion of women and LGBT people in the A&M community and beyond.” Programming efforts focused on working toward a community in which men and women could coexist in a mutually respectful and supportive environment of equality and responsibility. These programs included Aggie Women in Leadership, the Silent Witness Project, the Women’s Leadership Forum & Women’s Progress Awards, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Coming Out Week, Aggie Allies, an LGBT Reading Group, Gay Awareness Week, and Guess Who's Gay Panels.
By 2007, the Women’s & Gender Equity Resource Center once again split into two offices – the GLBT Resource Center and the Women’s Resource Center. Though it was logical to merge the two departments to create a safe haven on campus for women and LGBTQ students, the visibility of the LGBTQ community as its own independent entity had been diminished, and there was a concern that the focus of the Women’s Center had been diluted as well. The new Women’s Resource Center, located in the Koldus Building, focused its efforts on improving gender relations on campus, raising awareness and encouraging open discussion of gender issues, supporting the personal and academic growth of women on campus, and offering programming and support on the topics of sexual harassment, women of color, violence against women, and lesbian/bisexual women. The Women’s Resource Center continued with programs such as the Silent Witness Project, Denim Day, These Hands Don’t Hurt, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the Women’s Leadership Forum & Women’s Progress Awards.
The Women’s Resource Center Today
As this university grows, so do the programs the Women's Resource Center offer. In the summer of 2012 the Women’s Resource Center joined the Offices of the Dean of Student Life. This transition has allowed for greater programming and networking with other offices on campus. With this move to Student Life, the Women’s Resource Center was able to add programs such as Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshops (2013) Elect Her: Aggie Women Win (2014), the Breastfeeding Welcomed Here Campaign (2014) and In Her Own Words: A Women-Focused Book Club (2016). To increase multicultural awareness, the Center engages in promotion of International Women's Day, Dias de los Muertos, & Women's History Month.
In the fall of 2015, the Center relocated its office from Cain Hall to Student Services @ White Creek in Student Life 1 (Building #0070).
According to The Eagle, in 2016 "Texas A&M ranked among top 50 best universities for women." The Women's Resource Center is known for collaborating with campus and community partners to provide developmental programs, educational experiences, and resources that support the diverse needs of our campus constituents. The Center strives to provide a safe and supportive environment that is respectful and inclusive to all. By serving as a hub for information, and resources pertinent to women on campus, the Center aims to develop leaders of character dedicated to serving the betterment of Texas A&M University family.