The MU Women’s Center welcomes students, staff, faculty and members of our local community. The Center provides opportunities for learning, service and support for those who seek to further their understanding of social justice. No matter if you are looking for a place to lounge, to attend programs, to borrow a book or grab some free candy, the WC is a space where you can find your place. Our Center is not a woman-only space–it is open to everyone regardless of gender identity.
The Women’s Center offers:
Safe space to hang out, study, sleep or reserve for your group (Lounge has blankets, games, movies, lapdesks, coffee or tea & more!)
Calendar of events including leadership, Love Your Body, Women’s History Month, Stitch ‘N Bitch, Ms. Zou & Mr. Zou Series and MU Vagina Monologues
Programs by request for any organization, office, class, living community or any other group on a variety of topics
Book & Video borrowing library—over 2,400 volumes ranging from fiction to theory to how-to
Language Partners— pairing native and non-native English speakers to practice conversational English 1 hour a week
Family Room to study or play with your child; also serves as a lactation station
Student org advising & support
Brochures and other references on an array of issues
Local and national referral information—we help you when you’re in crisis or if you need a downtown ice cream referral and everything in between
Freebies–stop by if you need safer sex products, a bit of candy, buttons or an emergency tampon
Laptop check-out (to use in lounge) & 24-hour umbrella check-out
Button Making–come make a free one or order a few for your group
We collaborate with other offices, organizations and committees to create programming & resources
The LPP pairs one native English speaker with one non-native English speaker. The pairs get together once a week for a minimum of one hour and practice conversational English. The program is a great opportunity to learn about another culture and make a new friend. The focus of the program is to assist the non-native English speaker with their conversational English, awareness of North American culture and knowledge of living in Columbia, MO.
Love Your Body
Love Your Body is a national movement for body positivity. We want everyone to love themselves and we use social media and campus advertising to remind folks of how great they are! The WC collaborates with other offices and organizations to plan and implement events on our campus, such as Love Your Body Day, Eating Disorders Awareness Week and Operation Beautiful. Groups can also request a WC program on body image, self-care or empowerment. Find us on Facebook & Twitter for daily inspiration!
Ms. Zou Series:
Today’s students only have so much free time and we need to spend that time wisely. This series is built so that attendees walk away with skills that they can use right away. We want Mizzou women to be self-sufficient and ready for anything! Ms. Zou is By Mizzou Women For Mizzou Women. Past workshops have included information on sustainability, web presence and car care.
Mr. Zou Series:
The Mr. Zou Series, modeled after Ms. Zou Series, was founded to fill a gap in programming about masculinity. Mr. Zou programming is two-fold. Each semester look to our calendar for events such as Mr. Zou Presents, a film series. Masculinity programs for organizations can also be requested online. Our Masculinity Program Coordinator will work with your group to create a training that meets your needs.
Stitch ‘N Bitch:
SNB is a national movement to reclaim historically devalued ”women’s work” while having radical conversations with friends and new acquaintances and creating fabulous fashions! Join our Stitch ‘N Bitch crew every Wednesday while classes are in session. We meet in the WC Lounge from 4-6pm. It’s open-house-style, so you can stop in for a bit or stay the full 2 hours! Bring a project you’re working on or learn how to knit or crochet from one of the WC Staffers! Some folks even bring other types of crafting to work on. If you don’t have the start-up tools, no worries! We have knitting needles and crochet hooks, yarn and patterns.
MU Vagina Monologues
V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. Every year over 4200 events occur around the world! The Women’s Center serves as advisor to the MU Production of Eve Ensler’s ‘The Vagina Monologues’. VDAY occurs every February on Mizzou’s campus and is sponsored by STARS. For more information visit vaginamonologues.missouri.edu.
Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month occurs all over the United States every March. It is a time to rediscover our past and look to our future. Most history books gloss over the accomplishments that women have made and each March we rewrite history and make sure that women’s stories are heard. The Women’s Center joins many other offices and individuals to create a campus-wide calendar. Every year we celebrate our Annual Women’s Poetry Night, Women in the Arts Reception & Show, Women’s & Gender Studies Graduate Conference, the Women’s Leadership Conference and so much more. Visit WHM.missouri.edu for events and to learn more.
The Women’s Center started with a group of dedicated students, staff and faculty, including the Association of Women Students (a women driven student government similar to MSA). In 1975 the Women’s Center’s doors first opened in 1 Gentry Hall with Gail Ginder serving as the first Director. The first Center programming calendar was printed in the Winter/Spring semester of ’75. It included: weekly lunchbag seminars such as The Gay Woman: Who Is She?, Women and Anger and Female Sexuality; discussion groups including career exploration and assertion training; short courses in Modern Dance and Herstory; programming geared specifically for women who returned to school after some time away; a writer’s group and so much more. In addition to programming the Women’s Center provided one of the first safe spaces for women* on the University of Missouri’s campus.
In Fall 1987 the Center moved to 229 Brady Commons, where it resided for 21 years. During this time programs such as The Vagina Monologues, Love Your Body Programming, the Social Justice Seder and a continuation of original women-focused* programs thrived with student and campus support. In August 1997, a Women’ s Center Graduate Student founded the Language Partners Program, which still functions in pairing native English-speakers with non-native English speakers for a cultural and language exchange. In Fall 2002, Feminist Student Union, or FSU, was founded and is advised by the WC.
In the Fall of 2008 the Women’s Center moved to 214 Memorial Union North during the Brady Commons construction, and created The Center for Social Justice, along with the Multicultural Center, the LGBTQ Resource Center and the RSVP Center. To keep up with the times and stay connected with our students and alumnae, in 2007, we began joining Facebook, youTube, Librarything, Twitter, Pinterest, updating our website, and creating a newsletter and alumnae listserv. We launched our brand new website in 2009 and released our new logo.
In the Fall of 2010, the Ms. Zou Series was founded to continue to provide Mizzou women with programming to supplement their self-sufficient skills. As we searched old calendars we saw the amazing programming that allowed women a space to delve into specific skills that may have never been offered to young girls and women. We also realized that as busy as Mizzou women are these days that we needed to be providing more programming that allowed our students to leave with a new skill in a small amount of time. The Ms. Zou series is ‘By Mizzou Women For Mizzou Women’ and has included programs such as money management, car care, self-care and web design. We’re excited to bring back this hands-on programming that has a rich herstory at the Women’s Center.
On January 6th, 2011 we moved to G108 MU Student Center where Brady Commons once stood.
In Spring of 2012, the WC launched the Mr. Zou Series with the help of our Masculinity Programming Coordinator, Patrick Randolph. Mr. Zou, modeled after the Ms. Zou Series, is aimed at teaching men skills that historically have not been taught to them as well as programs about masculinity and what it means to be “a man at Mizzou.”
The WC continues to provide advising, support and a meeting space to student orgs and programs, such as AAUW, Fluffy GRL Summit & Fundamental Firsts. The space is ever-evolving to create safe spaces for all our tiger family. We look forward to creating more herstory here at Mizzou.
*We serve women, transgender, men and gender non-conforming persons. Women’s Centers historically grew out of a need for women to have spaces and services that were previously unavailable.