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BC Women’s Center Spotlight

If you are looking for a safe and welcoming space on campus, there is no better place to go than the Women’s Center. The Boston College Women’s Center provides a multitude of services to students of all genders. The Women’s Center, located in Maloney 441, works year round to make students feel safe on BC’s campus as well as provide resources for community building, leadership development, and sexual violence outreach. If you want to stop by the Women’s Center for any reason, they are open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on weekdays throughout the year.

Here are some of these resources:

  • SANet: Sexual Assault Network (SANet) provides an outlet for students affected by sexual violence to talk to a professional via their hotline (617-552-2211). This number can also be found on the back of your Eagle One card. SANet's team is comprised of trained staff members and graduate students who will listen to what you are going through and help talk you through your options. If you need transportation or medical help, SANet can provide assistance with this as well.
  • Bystander Intervention: Bystander Intervention’s goal is to educate BC students on how to intervene when you see someone is in an unsafe situation, while also teaching students how to identify inappropriate behaviors and ‘jokes’. It is likely you have attended a bystander event, which are often student led and required by BC. Applications to be a student leader are closed for this year, but if you are passionate about creating a safe environment on campus, feel free to apply next year.
  • HEAL: HEAL is a group that meets once a week for victims of sexual violence. If you wish to participate in HEAL, you can contact University Counseling Services to see if HEAL is the right fit for you.

On top of resources, the Women’s Center organizes a lot of programming throughout the year–they recently hosted the Black Women Matter retreat and Love Your Body Week. Some programming through the Women’s Center includes:

  • Thrive: Thrive provides a space for sophomore women to find community and engage in conversation with other sophomores and a mentor about ongoing problems and their lives in general. Thrive meets once a week in small groups and is facilitated by staff and upperclassmen mentors who are trained to help sophomores navigate their second year in college. Not only do members meet in these groups, but Thrive also arranges a retreat in late January. If this interests you, applications are currently live.
  • Black Women Matter: Black Women Matter is a retreat for Black women on campus that focuses on community building and healing. It is held at the Dover Retreat Center and includes two days of listening and sharing experiences. Black Women Matter focuses on the intersectionality of the identities of Black women. The retreat this year already took place from October 14th-16th, but it is held annually for anyone interested.
  • CARE Week: CARE Week is a week during which the Women’s Center hosts events to raise awareness about sexual assault and violence on campus.
  • Love Your Body Week: Love Your Body Week's goal is to enhance people’s perceptions of their bodies by tabling and hosting events focused on empowerment and deconstructing one’s negative perceptions of their bodies.
  • One Love: One Love is a workshop aimed at increasing awareness surrounding relationship violence. Staff members, club leaders, and students can request a presentation by following the provided link.
  • DISH: DISH grants students the opportunity to eat and discuss race, sexuality, and gender issues, among a variety of other topics. DISH only occurs once a month so it is easier to make a commitment to than some of the other programs. To join the LISTSERV for upcoming events, follow the provided link.
  • Res Hall Talks: Res Hall Talks require a minimum of 8 participants and are discussions with your residential hall, typically led by RAs, regarding issues affecting students.
  • Rise: Rise is a mentorship program that partners senior women with a member of faculty or staff. Mentors will help guide students through post-college life, friendships, careers, etc.
  • Women’s Summit: The Women's Summit brings together leaders, peers, and speakers in talks about women’s issues and their careers.

The Women’s Center is staffed by professionals such as trained counselors, volunteers, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. I had the opportunity to ask Director Katie Dalton about the work she does at the Women’s Center and what a day in the Women’s Center looks like. Katie Dalton is a Boston College Alum who majored in Psychology and mastered in Higher Education. As director of the Women’s Center, she understands the ins and outs of the organization and works closely with all workers to keep things running smoothly.

What do the workers at the Women’s Center do?

The undergraduate student workers in the Women's Center are the heart and soul of the organization. As an office we seek to preserve the entrepreneurial spirit of the original founders of the Center, a group of undergraduate students back in 1973. The structure of the Center is very flat, meaning that there is not a lot of hierarchy and subsequently students have a lot of control over the projects in the Center. Each student selects programs that they work on and they conceptualize, build, and implement each project in collaboration with each other as well as the graduate students, me, and Claire Johnson Allen, the Associate Director. 

What is your favorite part about working as Director of the Women’s Center?

My favorite part of my job as the Director of the Center is the opportunity to work so closely with students. It is both a privilege as well as a gift to form such deep and meaningful relationships with students and to watch them have a positive impact on the overall campus culture through their work. 

What is your goal for the Women’s center in the upcoming year/in general?

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Center and my goal is to host a celebration that highlights both the great work that has been done as well as the opportunities that the Center has to build on its legacy. 

How can students get involved with the Women’s Center?

Students can get involved in the Center in a number of ways: first by attending one of our many programs (Black Women Matter, the Boston College Women's Summit, DISH, etc.), by volunteering for one of our campaign weeks (CARE Week, Love Your Body Week, by joining one of our mentorship programs (Thrive or Rise), and by coming into Maloney 441 to meet our staff, grab a cookie, and hang out. 

For more information about any of the programs or resources listed above feel free to visit the Women’s Center website.

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