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Introduction to Student Affairs: Women Centers Emily Green

The Vision
With over 400 Women Student Programs and Services, women centers offer an open community to students at universities and colleges to inspire change to students though advocacy, education and support. Such centers emerged due to the increased concerns and issues of gender equity on college campuses. Over the years women services has expanded its focus towards addressing the issues that impact women and others globally. Currently, these centers provide students with services and support, learning and leadership opportunities through outreach, prevention, and advocacy programs. With awareness and intentionality in mind, programs hosted by these centers aim to engage all students in activism and awareness of issues surrounding all students today.
The mission of the Women's Center is to foster a healthy, safe, and engaging campus community by enabling the full and active participation of women students in both their personal and educational pursuits at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Women's Center provides programs, connections, advocacy, services and leadership opportunities for all MSU students. -Women Center Minnesota State University Mankato

Purpose
Advocacy Activism Education Service Support

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Quick Reference: Compensation: $40,000$60,000 varies greatly Education: Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate Environment: Higher education institutions Work Experience: 2 to 3 years Characteristics: Technical, people, and conceptual skills

Student affairs professionals in women centers often have a passion for student development, involvement and awareness both on and off college campuses. Women centers need directors, counselors, coordinators and interns to provide services to students at colleges, universities, and some community colleges. Some work for private and others for public institutions. Typical work schedule for most positions are office hours (8am-5pm), and a few evenings and weekends depending on events. Most positions are full-time, year round however some may reduce their hours during the summer months. Duties assigned but not limited to: Works closely with students for programming Advise students on gender and social issues Support students Supervise organizations, programs and services Manage office, and other workers Report to Dean of Students or Provost

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Education: Some entry- level jobs require a bachelors degree, however for advancement a masters or doctoral degree is necessary. Work Experience: Work experience is beneficial for success in the position, often times past involvement, academic focus and general interest can be considered related experience. Characteristics & Qualities: Computer, people, organizational and problem solving skills are important to positions in this area. More specifically, flexibility, time management, interest, and motivation are beneficial qualifications.

Compensation Pay for the work in this area depends on position level, location, institution type and size. The median annual wage for professionals working in women centers is about $60,000 with a masters degree. Again, compensation may vary.

Raised by a feminist father and have always been encouraged to stand up for womens rights and empowerment. I believe that I am able to create a safe and inclusive space where students of any gender and sexual orientation will feel welcome. -Samantha Hedwall, Minnesota State University, Mankato Professional development is important in keeping up with current trends, issues and concerns regarding Women Centers. Check out NASPAs professional development opportunities for this month: Trends and Issues Facing Females in Higher Education. For more information please visit: http://www.naspa.org/divctr/w omen/prodev.cfm. Womens Leadership Institute: For information please visit: http://www.naspa.org/progra ms/wli/default.cfm.

Outlook & Future Opportunities Employment in student affairs is expected to grow in the near future, yet positions in this area may not grow as much. Many institutions have Women Centers and understand its importance in student development; others have not adopted such services for students. Therefore, positions in this area are more limited, as they do not always have a presence on campuses.

Employment
Central Connecticut State University- Womens Center Coordinator of Violence Against Women Programs Assistant: Assist in organizing and coordinating all aspects of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Awareness month. Coordinate/Schedule all campus violence against women training for student groups Maintain programs/training statistics. Assist in the presentation of violence against women workshops. For more information visit: http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=1

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CAS Standards: Mission statements must include aspects of safety, education, support, equity and community Serve as a resource and advocate for the needs of women and other constituents Collaborate with on and off-campus units and sectors of student affairs on mental and health services, law enforcement, athletics, and academics Be dedicated to expanding the understanding of gender, and social issues in informed disciplines for students Assess the learning outcomes and successes of programs Critical Issues: Sexual Assault Reporting: The barriers reporting sexual misconduct among male and female students in college and universities. Support & Resources: Many college and universities have women service centers implemented into their institutions as valuable resources for all students on campus. However, not all universities are able to provide such services. Awareness and Advocacy: Women services are constantly facing critical issues, as the nature of the work requires them to be sensitive to global issues effecting their student population. Promoting awareness of the issues and encouraging support and advocacy are constant obstacles that are faced with this particular work.

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Spotlight:

Featured Reading on Women Centers: University and College Womens Centers: A Journey Toward Equity Edited by: Sharon Davie, Director and founder of Womens Center at University of Virginia

References: -Postsecondary Education Administration. (2012, July 18). Retrieved October 18, 2012, from http://www.bls.gov/ -Christopher, F. S., & Kisler, T. S. (2012). College women's experiences of intimate partner violence: Exploring mental health issues. NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 5(2), 1-18. -NASPA student affairs administrators in higher education. (2012). Retrieved October 18, 2012, fromhttp://www.naspa.org/divctr/women/prodev.cfm. -Hedwall, S. (2012, October 9). [E-mail interview]. University of Minnesota, Mankato, Women's Center Assistant Director -An, Y.-O. (2012, October 16). [E-mail interview by the author].University of St. Thomas, Director of the Luann Center for Women -Retrieved October 18, 2012, from http://www.mnsu.edu/wcenter/ -Davie, S. (2012, October 7). [Personal interview by the author]. University of Virginia, Director of Women's Center -Barriers to reporting sexual assault for women and men: Perspectives of college students. (2006). Journal of American College Health. -Continuing the Journey toward Gender Equity Susan S. Klein, Patricia E. Ortman, Patricia Campbell, Selma Greenberg, Sandra Hollingsworth, Judith Jacobs, Beatrice Kachuck, Averil McClelland, Diane Pollard, David Sadker, Myra Sadker, Patricia Schmuck, Elois Scott and Joanne Wiggins Educational Researcher , Vol. 23, No. 8 (Nov., 1994), pp. 13-21.American Educational Research Association -Schuh, J. H., Jones, S. R., & Harper, S. R. (Eds.). (2010). Student services: A handbook for the profession (Fifth ed.). Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, John.