November 12, 2001

Administrators Agree to Consider Funding CWRC

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The administration has agreed to consider funding the position of director at Cornell’s Women’s Resource Center (CWRC) after meeting with Student Assembly (S.A.) members last Thursday, Kent Hubbell, dean of students, confirmed yesterday.

Since 1998, the S.A. has been responsible for paying the $30,000 salary of the CWRC director. Two weeks ago, the S.A. Appropriations Committee recommended the administration assume the task of covering salary costs for the director while the S.A. continue to incur CWRC programming fees, thereby reducing its overall allocation to CWRC from four dollars per student to one dollar.

Members of the S.A. and CWRC said they believe that the administration should fund the salary of the director of the CWRC since the organization is not student-run, but rather supervised by a full-time employee.

“I really hope that the University will fund the Center,” said Connie Wang ’03, co-president of CWRC. “I think that [the Center] brings together a diversity of opinions in a way that no other organization on campus does.”

Susan Murphy ’73, vice president of student and academic services, noted that the discussions do not mean that the University has taken a formal stance on the issue. “We have heard from students and now we will meet to discuss,” she said.

The Center, which is located in Willard Straight Hall and has been on campus since the 1970s, provides referral and support services for women as well as programs examining gender issues. It also publishes Forward, a magazine discussing gender issues, and houses hundreds of books for loan.

In these last three weeks that Kelly Connison began serving as CWRC’s director, 26 students came into the center seeking assistance with research, programs and personal issues.

Connison hopes to expand programming to issues concerning eating disorders and sexual assault as well as incorporating themes relating to women’s history month, black history month and sexual assault awareness month into programs next semester, she said.

“No one doubts the importance of the Women’s Resource Center, but like all financial decisions, the University must understand clearly all ramifications,” Hubbell said. “We have to carry out a careful review of the Women’s Resource Center to find out how it meshes with our other services.”

The University’s decision will be rendered in three weeks, targeting the Nov. 26 deadline the S.A. recommended.

“I believe that the University’s refusal to fund the director position is unacceptable,” said Uzo Asonye ’02, president of S.A. “If they say no, the answer represents the University’s belief that there is no value to the Women’s Resource Center.”

Archived article by Jamie Yonks