Planning meeting: regional conference notes, 1972

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PLANNING MFTING: REGIONAL CONFFRFNCF 20 September 1972 Barnard College Women's Center

Present: Carol Groneman, Columbia Women's Liberation; Lois Banner, Douglass; Debbie Rapaport, Carroll Seron, NYU Women's Liberation; Marian Madrid, Sarah Lawrence; Hester Fisenstein, Jane Gould, Danielle Haase-Dubosc, Susan Sacks, Mary Wexford, Barnard.

Progress Reports: Barnard: Violence: Women's Experience and Fxpression

One point of view was that the workshop should be called “hostility and aggression” rather than "violence." Danielle and Hester felt this was so revealing of women's attitudes to the topic of violence that it was decided to broaden the scope of the workshop to deal with this difference of feeling about the issue.

Columbia Women's Liberation: ~ ’ 'V

Had considered a workshop on how women are divided, but found that they could not choose between an unwieldy panel representing all possible factions and a completely open rap session format. Therefore, they had decided to change their topic to one dealing with various questions on the abortion issue. However, it was suggested by several that the original topic was important and that it might lend itself

to a different kind of treatment which, although not a panel, would permit many different points of view to be heard and discussed. It was generally felt that this was too valuable a topic to lose; Carol agreed to take these suggestions back to her group and report their decision at our next planning meeting.

Douglass: Fmancipated Lifestyles

Panel will include Blanche Cook to give the historical background; an older, divorced woman who has adopted a child; an unmarried woman who has had a child and is raising it; and possibly a woman living in a commune, and a lesbian.

Old Westbury: Who is responsible for children? and Do women have a separate experience of education? (and/or should they?)

The first topic will be discussed by a welfare mother, a divorcee,

a married mother living in a commune, a married couple sharing the job ("if we can find one”)

The second topic will discuss some of Old Westbury's experiments in their women's studies courses.

NYU Women's Liberation: How far will legal solutions to women's problems take us?

will have 2-3 panelists, at least one not a lawyer, covering the legal situation now, especially in New York State, but also nationally; changes taking place now; Equal Rights Amendment; women's attitudes towards

the law and what they think it can or cannot do for them. W\‘Queens College: Androgyny

Panelists: Wendy Martin, Annette Neimtzow, Beverly Gross. Their panel is ready at any time.

N‘“\.Richmond College: On strategies for producing change and the Lesbian Experience in Education.

The first topic will include consideration of violence, education, social- ization, political action, media: Nancy Russo, Sandra Tangri, Phyllis Chesler, Maxine Bernstein, and students.

The second topic can easily be split into two workshops if there is a large enough demand: L. Fishman, Tina Mandel, Francoise Drozd, Josephine Mullin, Elia Kartilli, Susan Zilbering, Bertha Harris. They are concerned generally about whether some or all of the panels should be closed to men and

whether their panel on lesbians should be given once for gay women only and once for straight women.

Sarah Lawrence: Older Women

They have not decided on a topic but are considering "Problems and opportun- ities of the older Woman," particularly because of their relationship to

the Center for Continuing Education at Sarah Lawrence. Although it was generally felt that this would be a good topic, several people expressed concern that it be viewed broadly and in the context of the new feminism and not simply as a question of continuing education as it was a decade ago. Jane suggested getting someone from OWL (Older Women's Liberation) on the panel.

Last spring Sarah Lawrence had also considered exploring the topic “Who will do women's work if women don't?”

After some discussion, it was decided that each group should be prepared to offer its workshop twice, with either the same or different personnel. It was felt that this would be necessary both to accommodate a larger number of people attending the conference and to offer the widest choice in workshops to attend.

In discussing the size of the conference, Barnard reported that the maximum number of people for whom lunch could be provided at Barnard was 300. Everyone agreed

on wanting to make the conference available to larger numbers of people but that 1500 was probably too large. Debbie explored the possibility of using Loeb Student Center at NYU which is normally open on Saturdays but found that the rental for rooms would amount to approximately $1 per person attending the conference ($40 for room holding 40 people; $25 for room holding 20 people). The decision was finally reached to continue plans to hold the conference at Barnard, using both Barnard and Milbank Halls, which would permit attendance of up to 600 people, and to make alternative arrangements for lunch, e.g., pre-registration for lunch in the cafeteria, bring

box lunches, supply a list of restaurants in the neighborhood. Barnard agreed

that it would commit itself to covering the extra cost of custodial and security services for keeping the two buildings open on Saturday ($440) as its financial contribution to the Conference.

Each group agreed to make its own arrangements for the transportation of its participants and students to the Conference and to ascertain by the next planning meeting (November 9th) exactly what financial contribution it would be able to make. Other costs, besides custodial and security services at Barnard, would include mailings, newspaper and magazine ads, materials to be handed out at the Conference.

Because of the increase in the proposed size of the Conference and because of the importance of putting together a really meaningful series of workshops, it was decided to postpone the Conference date until early in the spring semester. Two tentative dates which were suggested were February 10th and 17th.* Each group agreed to check the availability of both dates before the next planning meeting.

The following items were stressed for discussion at the next meeting:

breadth of publicity

pre-registration procedures

financial commitment of the sponsors

whether or not a publication should result from the Conference, and if so, what kind?

It was hoped that each group would give careful consideration to each question before the next meeting.

The next meeting was scheduled for 4:00p.m., Thursday, November 9th, at the Barnard Women's Center, Room 100 Barnard Hall, on Broadway at 117th Street. It is crucial that we have a representative of each college at this meeting since final decisions must be made. Please let us know how many from your group will be able to attend: 280-2067.

*N.B. We have checked both these dates at Barnard and found that February 10th is clear. However, February 17th is the Saturday of the three-day Washington's Birthday weekend, and it will be impossible to hold the conference at Barnard on that day. As this will probably turn out to be a bad date for others as well, let's concentrate our efforts for February 10th.

To: Regional Conference Participants

From: Mary Elizabeth Wexford, Barnard Women's Center

Enclosed is a report on the last planning meeting held at the Barnard Women's Center on September 20th.

The next meeting will be at 4:00 p.m., Thursday, Novem- ber 9th, at the Barnard Women's Center, Room 100 Barnard Hall, on Broadway at ll7th Street. It is crucial that we have a representative of each college at this meeting since final decisions must be made. Please let us know how many from your group will be able to attend: 280-2067.