just spent the weekend at the
National Women's Studies Association
annual conference and one of the caucuses
was on Women's Centers. My guess is that
you should reach out to this network to
find out what others have and haven't done.
not sure why you don't consider yourself
a feminist - perhaps it's a misinterpretation
of what it means or something else - but
based on your email, I actually don't see
any reason why you aren't a feminist. I
recently co-wrote a book, Manifesta:
Young Women, Feminism & the Future,
which includes a chapter - "What is Feminism?"
that might be helpful - you can access
an excerpt at Feminist.com.
I think the label is secondary to the work
behind the label and though you might not
consider yourself feminist, providing this
space and attention to women and women's
issues is a feminist act. To maximize this
position, I suggest you start by reaching
out to every community of women - from athletes
to sorority sisters. I'm not sure what your
university offers, but on many campuses,
the problem seems to be that women are divided
by minor differences rather than being united
in the many things they have in common.
Your position could bring them together,
which requires hosting forums that speak
to everyone or whoever is willing to listen.
Perhaps you could start by implementing
something into the new student orientation.
You could find everything that exists on
campus for women and make sure they have
this information. You could start a big
sister program - asking older students to
be big sisters to incoming students and
could host events around this.
I hope that helps to get you thinking -
and congratulations on this appointment.