EOU OPENS WOMEN'S CENTER

March 06, 2002 11:00 pm
GENDER EQUITY FOCUS: Eastern Oregon University sociology professor Rosemary Powers, right, talks with student Gina Rudd in EOUs new Womens Research and Resource Center. (The Observer/DICK MASON).
GENDER EQUITY FOCUS: Eastern Oregon University sociology professor Rosemary Powers, right, talks with student Gina Rudd in EOUs new Womens Research and Resource Center. (The Observer/DICK MASON).

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

The visibility of gender and womens issues has been heightened at Eastern Oregon University.

A Womens Research & Resources Center opened Tuesday.

The center, in room 133 of Zabel Hall, has books, journals and videos on womens issues, three comfortable overstuffed chairs, art work addressing womens issues and more.

I couldnt be happier. We have been working on this for four years, said Tonia St. Germain, coordinator of Easterns gender studies program.

St. Germain is a member of the EOU Presidents Commission on the Status of Women. The commission is responsible for creating the resources center, which will be open on weekdays and staffed by volunteers.

It will be used as an intellectual hub by people who have real concerns about gender equity, said Rosemary Powers, an assistant professor of sociology who helped lead the effort to get the center established.

Powers said the center will also be a site where people can feel comfortable discussing womens issues.

It will be a place for spirited discussions and sometimes debate. ... It is very important that women have a place where they feel secure to discuss issues that affect them, Powers said.

The center is open to the public. Materials in it later will be able to be checked out. The centers resources include copies of the Journal of Signs, one of the most prominent journals in the field of women/gender studies.

The Womens Research and Resources Center also has two computers which later will be connected to the Internet.

The centers resources will help students doing papers on subjects tied to gender issues.

This is like a jackpot for us, said Eastern student Gina Rudd, who is doing research for a class project on gender issues.

Rudd said gender issues come up in several areas of study. These include physical education, health and psychology.

Anyone in the community can use the center to conduct research.

Powers hopes to later obtain grants for research projects which will be conducted through the center. She hopes that studies can be conducted on things such as the role of women in Eastern Oregon.

Powers emphasized that the center will be used to address womens and gender equity issues not just in Eastern Oregon but throughout the nation.

Donations of books, videos, journals and magazines and other materials are now being accepted. For information call Powers at 962-3819.