When most people decide where they want to study for the night, McCabe, Cornell, and the Science Center are among the top choices. When many students coordinate their Saturday night plans, Paces, Olde Club, and the fraternities are among the first options discussed. What some students might not know, though, is that the Women’s Resource Center is a viable option for both studying and socializing.
Located next to Olde Club, the WRC is a three-story space that includes a study space, a kitchen, a library with feminist literature and artifacts from the 1970s, a television and DVD player and a computer and printer. While this space provides ample study areas, the WRC also offers a dry social space for Swarthmore students on Saturday nights. It is open from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays.
“The WRC is most known for its Saturday night coffee hours and for being a dry space where a lot of baking happens,” WRC Intern Sabrina Singh ’15 said. “It’s important that the WRC is a safe space. For me, a safe space is one where people are tolerant of each other and people care to respect each other,” she continued. “You’re not disrespected or discriminated against because you are a certain way.”
As an intern for the school year, Singh works with First-Year Dean and Gender Education Advisor Karen Henry to coordinate the WRC’s administrative work and event planning. Interns work with the WRC’s housesitters — students who act as hosts for the space and make sure all visitors are welcome. Each housesitter also has a theme for the house, which can involve a movie or food dish.
Other groups, such as i20 and Swarthmore Feminists, have also used the WRC as a meeting space or as an event location. Such groups are not the only ones holding events on campus, though; the WRC is also planning an entire women’s week from March 21–26 in honor of Women’s History Month. In coordination with other groups on campus, this week will focus on how organizations such as i20, the Global Health Forum and OASIS interpret gender issues that people in the WRC may commonly discuss.