by Anna Woods, Assistant News Editor
Tucked away in the corner of the 3rd floor of Kelly Commons lies the Lasallian Women and Gender Research Center or the LWGRC. A room where women can come for advice, a safe space and to advocate for gender equality here at Manhattan College. This semester the LWGRC hopes to continue to make a difference on campus.
For the 2020 spring semester, Ashley Cross, Ph.D., will be stepping in as Co-Director. This role was previously filled by Jordan Pascoe, Ph.D, and Imperatori-Lee, Ph.D, who are both currently on sabbatical. Cross is currently an English professor here at MC and is excited to get more involved with the center and everything they’re doing. Cross says she is most excited to be a part of the wonderful community that makes the LWGRC.
“The great work the center does on campus and off [is what drew me to this position.] I also have a long history of working on women and gender issues on campus, as I develop the Women and Gender Studies minor and have been teaching classes about women and gender issues since I started here in 1996,” Cross said.
“The chance to work on women and gender social justice issues with graduate assistant Jo-Ann Mullooly, the wonderful Gender Justice Advocates and interns, and all the clubs and groups with whom we partner and collaborate–to be part of this community and make changes on campus on women’s and gender issues. One of the things the center does is work to bridge groups and academic schools and to build community through its educational programming and healing efforts.”
With a new co-director comes many new projects. Most recently, the LWGRC came together to get free menstrual products in many of the women’s bathrooms on campus, as covered previously by the Quad.
Senior Carly Brownell, just began working at the center this semester.
“The biggest, most recent accomplishment of the center was helping to get free menstrual product dispensers in several bathrooms on campus as a way to help combat period poverty on campus,” Brownell said. “On this same theme, I am hoping to continue to work on addressing both period poverty and the stigma around talking about periods on this campus.”
This semester the LWGRC has many exciting projects in the works for students to look forward to. Women’s Week is March fourth through 12 and includes Take Back the Night, with chicana poet Rachel McKibben and the Clothesline project, as well as events on women and the vote; an Activism Excursion to the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art: The Future is Queer; a WRCM live show of bands fundraiser; a women and STEM event with Clare Bruff, Senior Manager, Leadership Development and Diversity at American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME); a women and Business event on Women and the Blockchain; “Agitating The Charism: Sex and Manhattan College” with Dr. Judith Plaskow (Religious Studies), Gabby Kasper, and Alyssa Zduniak; Agape Latte with. Dr. Stephanie Powell.
Other events happening this semester include a Period Party, Love in the Dark, #Metoo Mondays, playwright Eva O’Connor, artist Malak Mattar with WAGS, events with the Veterans on inclusion in the military, a LaSallian Workshop on consent, an event with Sanctuary Families on the Equality Model, Freshmen Women’s Circle, and continued work on sexual assault support resources on campus. This is just a small taste of the work being done. And all of this is student-led. It’s wonderful to take part in all this.”
“The best way to stay up to date in terms of events and programs is to follow us on instagram @MC_LWGRC,” Brownell said.
Jo Ann Mullooly, a graduate assistant in the center, says “I would encourage every student to visit the LWGRC at least once this semester. You will see what all the fuss is about. I’ve met so many wonderful students this semester that have found a home in our space on campus. Many of them stopped simply because of word of mouth. Some knew to come visit us because they were seeking advice, words of encouragement, or during peak stress weeks of the semester. The faculty, staff, and students involved with the space are some of the kindest people on this campus, and I’m not just saying that because I work there! There is a very special ambiance when you enter the space.”