Barnard Reports, Women's Center, draft, 1971

Primary tabs

Download: Transcript

Pages: 1 2 3 View All

Show transcript

 Barnard Reports
 Women's Center
 Now that the academic year is almost over, I would like to report to theii
 Barnard community about the Women's Center's first year. The Center, an office
 in Barnard Hall, officially opened in September. Its financial support came
 largely from the income of a bequest from Helen Rogers Reid, so long one of
 Barnard's most generous friends. The staff now consists of two work-study
 students (Pollock '74 and Ann Pearson '73); a full-time administrative”
 co-ordinator (Mary wexford Scotti '66); and a part-time acting director (me). K
 The Center has acted upon several principles, which have gradually
 evolved. l) It has set up programs on behalf of women and initiated a dialogue 1)
 about women in contemporary life; 2) while it has been acutely aware that women
 in contemporary life often lack dignity, equality, and autonomy, it has tried )
 to be non-sectarian in its programs; 3) it has tried to have a multiplicity
 of programs and points-of-view rather than a single project that would take
 all available time, energy, and resources; 4) it has tried to blend and balance
 administration, staff, alumnae; rather than giving any one element "control,"it has
 tried to make everyone up feel free to participate as he or she wishes
 or as he or she feels the women's question to be of central interest; 5) it
 has remembered that Barnard is a college and that the Center should do things
 a college can best do; 6) yet, it has tried to be of use to women outside
 the college.
 That Barnard is a women's college is crucial.
 a sympathetic environment. During the past months we have devised three
 sorts of programs. 1) Those we could put into operation immediately; 2) those
 that we began planning; and 3) those we thought desirable, but in need of
 much more money. The readers of Barnard Reports_may know of some of the
things we have done: an exhibit (from May to June 12) of the 
 Overbury Collection, Barnard's choice group of books by and about women; sponsoring speakers, films,
 and panels, including one about male chauvinssm at Columbia; the creation of the
 Barnard Lawyers‘ Committee, a legal referral service for cases of job
 discrimination; the establishment of an annual bibliography of the year's work
 in women's studies; co-ordination of efforts to establish a roster of women
 scholars; and so on.
 In the fall, we hope to host at least two conferences ---one on black, Asian
 and Latin women and the other, co-spansored with colleges in the region, on the
 theme, "How Women Learn from women." Examples of valuable projects that demand massive financing are a fellowship program for post-doctoral women and community activists and a counseling office for women who wish to return
 to school or work.
 One of our problems has been the necessity to sort out priorities, to
 decide in which, all the ways we could travel, we should travel.
 We have also had trouble making many students sense that they are a part of
 the Center and that the Center can be a part of thin their lives. We have
 not yet devised a permanent governing structure, at once efficient and fair,
 a just reflection of the Center's several constituencies.
 Hfiifiififix I believe that our problems are, in large part
 inherent in any new enterprise. The Center is also dealing with complex
 questions, about which people have m~any opinions, which will inevitably
 Tae Center has attracted national attention. We receive an average
Women's Center
 Page 3
 of five letters a day asking about both our work and the women's studies
 courses at Barnard. Literally hundreds of people --
 whether or not they are on our official committees -- have given us
 advice, attention, energy, time, money, and good will. I am personally grateful, 
 to them all, for the Center has been a collective undertaking. We share, I 
 believe, the sense that we are creating something at once necessary and new,
 exciting and solid, an innovation in the Barnard tradition. 
 Catharine R. Stimpson
 Acting Director 
 Assistant Professor of English
 Below is a list of some of the people who have been working with the Center:l
 ‘Managing Editor, annual bibliography
 Kirsten Drake '68