Should Marylhurst University Have a Women’s Resource Center? (by Becca Ellenbecker)

envelopetodean copyThe Research Question:  Should Marylhurst University have a Women’s Resource Center?

The Public Writing:

Dear Dean Zuelke:

I am writing you as a student of Maryhurst University.  I would like to draw your attention to the needs of the students.  In particular, there is a need for a Women’s Resource Center on the Marylhurst campus.  A resource center could be the focal point for student services as well as a place for students to meet for community and social events.  As you know, the majority of students on this campus are women, and a large portion of them are also parents.  Having a place for these women to find campus resources as well as community resources would help them balance their lives as students and parents.  This center could also be used for educational outreach.

Women’s Resource Centers have been the key to helping many women reach their goals of graduating from college.  It is proven that children who see their mother’s graduate from college tend to follow in their footsteps regardless of the father’s educational success.  Offering comprehensive resources to the women on campus is vital to their success. I have worked as a student advocate and mentor in such a center on the Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus.  I have experienced the impact it can make in people’s lives.

I understand that financing a Women’s Resource Center would be difficult for our school at this time.  There are many grants available to institutions that use these types of centers for educational purposes or it could be funded by donations from interested community members. As a way to cut costs, this center could also be staffed by volunteers and work study positions.

Thank you for taking the time to consider the possibility of having a resource center on campus for women.  I would like to meet with you and discuss this further at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Becca Ellenbecker

 

The Research Collection:

Kasper, Barbara. “Campus-based women’s centers: A review of problems and practices.” Affilia 19.2 (2004): 185-198.

Barbara Kasper examines the pros and cons of University-based Women’s Centers.  She looks at the programming and missions of such centers.  She discusses the need for support from school administrations in order to become successful in the goal to meet the needs of female students.

This article helps define the role of a women’s center on a University campus.  Marylhurst University is in need of resources for the female population.  This article sheds light on the questions surrounding the definition of a woman focused resource center.

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Van Stone, Nadine, J. Ron Nelson, and Joan Niemann. “Poor Single-Mother College Students’ Views on the Effect of Some Primary Sociological and Psychological Belief Factors on Their Academic Success.” The Journal of Higher Education Sep-Oct 65.5 (1994): 571-84. JSTOR. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/2943779&gt;.

The article “Poor Single-Mother College Students’ Views on the Effect of Some Primary Sociological and Psychological Belief Factors on Their Academic Success” researches the impact that support from University staff, faculty, and peers have on the student considered at risk.  The measure of success is based on the amount of support single parents are able to receive.

This research is important to the question of whether Marylhurst University should have a resource center for women or not.  This article points out that women need to have positive interaction with faculty as well as the support of their peers.  Having a resource center on campus would provide a safe space for the students where they would feel supported and valued.

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Moodie-Dyer, Amber. “A Policy Analysis of Child Care Subsidies: Increasing Quality, Access, and Affordability.” Children and Schools 33.1 (2011): 37-45. Print.

Amber Moodie-Dyer discusses in her article, “A Policy Analysis of Child Care Subsidies: Increasing Quality, Access, and Affordability” the importance of parents having access to child care subsidies.  These subsidies enable parents to continue their own education while affording child care.  This benefit takes some of the burden of child care costs off the struggling parent.

This research is important to the Marylhurst University community because it looks at giving access to affordable child care would benefit the student.  Trying to be a parent and a student is a balancing act that usually is financially impossible.  Offering subsidies to offset the high cost of child care will make getting a degree more accessible to students.

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Dela Peña, Emelyn A.(2009). A space of intersections : campus- based Women’s centers and the third space between public and private spheres. UC San Diego: b6284905. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/1p4514hm

In her dissertation, Emelyn Dela Pena discusses the need to reach women at their level of need.  The building of a community within the university community itself would help women achieve their goals of matriculation as well as giving them the emotional support they need to get through the rigors of college life.

The student population of Marylhurst University is over 65% women.  There is a need to support the students at whatever point they are at.  Most of these women are over the age of 25 with some form of family to support.  Having a resource center that reaches this specific population would benefit the University as a whole.  The inclusivity of a resource center would give these students a place where they would be accepted for whoever they are and wherever they are in their journeys.

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