Frequently Asked Questions
What is the history of the Women's Center?
Years of ongoing dialogue among students, staff, and faculty about the need for a women’s center at LSU came to fruition in the fall of 1995. Original funding was secured from the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, and the Women's Center rented Hodges 129 and 130 from Residential Life. The Center officially opened on October 5, 1995 under the direction of Barbara Jackson, joining 400 such centers at colleges and universities across the nation. The Center was forced to relocate to Hatcher Hall in 1999 and in 2001 the students lobbied for a more accessible and adequate location for the growing Center by garnering over 3,000 signatures in the form of a student petition; Student Government also passed a resolution in favor of the Women’s Center’s move to a new location. During the summer of 2001, the LSU Women's Center moved to the Helen M. Carter House on Raphael Semmes Road. In January 2011, the Women’s Center moved to a temporary space in 307 Hatcher Hall. In the spring of 2013, the Women's Center moved into its new home at 5 Union Square.
What does the Women's Center do?
The Women's Center provides services in three main areas: Programs & Events, Information & Referrals, and Meeting Space.
Programs & Events: The staff and volunteers of the Women’s Center plan many programs throughout the year. The Women’s Center is the central planner for the Gender on Film series, Women’s History Month which includes Elect Her, Esprit de Femme and Community Service Project. To connect campus with the community, the Women’s Center sponsors community events such as the Take Back the Night march.
Information & Referrals: The Women’s Center is a conduit to connect students, faculty, staff, and community members with the information that they need to make educated choices in their lives. Answering questions ranging from where to get a pregnancy test to starting a women-owned business, the Center’s staff is able to refer callers and walk-ins about a variety of campus and community organizations that fit their needs. The Center maintains an online resource directory and the Women’s Center Director is also trained as a Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate (SAVA) and a Safe Space Host in order to better serve students.
Gathering Space: The Center offers a living room, conference room, library, family resource room, and ; for more information about the physical space, take our virtual tour. The facility is open for students, staff, faculty, and community to gather, study, and relax.
What is the difference between the Women's Center and the Women and Gender Studies program?
While the Women's Center and the Women and Gender Studies program both support the active examination of issues related to women, they are different in two main ways. First, the Women's Center is primarily staffed by students who are interested in women's issues; on the other hand, Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) is staffed by faculty who do research, teaching, and/or service related to women and gender. Second, the Women's Center provides programming and meeting space to support its mission while WGS provides academic classes for students wishing to major, minor, or just learn more about women and gender. While the Women's Center and the Women's and Gender Studies Program obviously fulfill different roles on campus, they share an interest in exploring gender and women's issues and often work together to provide programs.
What is the difference between the Women's Center and the Women's Clinic?
While both the Women's Center and the Women's Clinic at the Student Health Center work together to promote healthy living for women, they are not the same thing. The Women's Center, while offering programs on healthy living, does not offer medical consultation or treatment. The Women's Clinic offers many medical services, including gynecological care and STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) testing and treatment.
Is the Women's Center for women only?
Absolutely not. The Women's Center welcomes both men and women to utilize its resources and attend programs. We are called the Women's Center because of our mission to promote the advancement of women and women's well being, a mission that men are invited to actively advocate and support.
Is the Women's Center only for students?
Everyone can benefit from the Women's Center. Faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to attend our programs and events, utilize our services, and make use of our resources.