In the summer of 2005 the ASI Board of Directors met to discuss their goals and visions for the upcoming year. Through that conversation, it was decided to place the development of a center for women at the top of their priorities for the 2005-2006 academic year. Despite lack of physical space to house the center, the Women's Center Committee and the Executive Committee approved a mission statement for the new ASI Women's Center.
Throughout that summer, a dedicated and passionate group of students, supported by staff and faculty, met to work towards realizing their dream of establishing a Women's Center at CSUSM.
In October 2005, the Women's Center was awarded a small office in the Commons building. It included little more than a small loveseat, a compter and telephone. However, that small space did big things. During the first semester, the Women's Center offered over 30 programs and events and was run completely by students.
The Women's Center quickly outgrew it's original home, and in 2007 moved to othe Foundation Classroom Building. It soon became clear that it was essential to have a professional Director to support the students and guide the overall vision of the Center. In the summer of 2009, after a great deal of activism by the staff, volunteers and allies, the Women's Center was able to hire our first full time professional Director.
In the summer of 2011 the Women's Center moved back to Commons (occupying all of 203-205 rather than just a small room!). This move physically positioned the Women's Center in-between our sister centers - the LGBTQA Pride Center and Cross-Cultural Center. The three centers now make up a social justice block on campus, where students can find solidarity, support, and sanctuary. This move also gave the Women's Center the space to create our first completely private lactation and mothering room.
In the spring of 2012, the ASI Board of Directors voted to change the name to the Gender Equity Center. This name change was an important step in acknowledging the myriad of ways that gender oppression impacts different communities. The new name is also more reflective of our celebration and inclusion of transgender and gender non-conforming students.
At only 6 years old, the Gender Equity Center has already become an essential source of support, advocacy, student leadership development, and student life at CSUSM. Still rapidly growing in size and scope, we are looking forward to what the next 6 years will bring!
"No one comes from the earth like grass. We come like trees. We all have roots." Maya Angelou
The Women's Center would not be here today were it not for the passion and dedication of the following individuals. We are ever honored and thankful for the legacy you have left.
- Didi Lund
- Cheyenne Barr
- Lissa Lim (pictured above)
- Jeremy Mills
- Lori Walkington
- Sarah Lenard
- Jonathan Poullard
- Lura Poggi
- Alexis Montevirgin
- Terry Allison