About the Women's Center
Founded in 1976, the Center “grew out of a strong group of women who were committed to develop an organization that would facilitate a new understanding of women and the roles they might play in a changing society” (Sasso, 1980, p.1). The Center was originally housed in a small space on the third floor of the Student Union and was staffed by work-study students and volunteers, with support from Margi Healy in Residential Life and Mary Ball Howkins in the Art Department. The initial mission involved providing a support network for women at the College, offering informational resources and peer counseling, and promoting self-awareness and positive personal development. The Center placed an emphasis on assisting women who were returning to college after a break to complete their studies, who had children, who were going through a divorce, who needed help with medical and legal concerns, and who identified as gay/bisexual.
Currently located in the lower level of Donovan Dining Center, adjacent to the Unity Center and Interfaith Center, the Women’s Center maintains many of the hallmarks of its founding, especially serving as a place for RIC women and individuals who are supportive of women’s issues to feel welcomed, access information, and connect to campus and community resources.
The Center has established some traditions such as: