WAGRAC: An On-Campus Resource for All Students at Trinity

BRENDAN CLARK ’21
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

WGRAC (The Women & Gender Resource Action Center) is a place on campus with a mission to foster acceptance, diversity, and equality on Trinity’s campus. Located behind the Washington Room, on the second oor of Mather Hall, WGRAC offers a safe space to discuss press- ing issues and implement student-led social change.
“WGRAC empowers students to nd their voice, to come into their own, to challenge themselves, and to create platforms for students to grow in a fun and safe environment,” stated Laura Lockwood, Director of WGRAC. Furthermore, WGRAC, “adds to the ex- perience for the college student and gives students a more wholesome view of the world,” stated Monique Daley, Training and Program Coordinator of WGRAC. WGRAC works to facilitate difficult conversations and seeks to provide, “an environment where all are welcome,” added Lock- wood. The WGRAC lounge contains a library replete with an extensive collection of articles on feminism and women’s movements. It’s also a place where anyone can come to read, study or have open discussions. WGRAC sponsors and helps to support a number of student-led programs aimed at combating stereotypes and promoting acceptance of all people. These groups include PHAB (Promoting Healthy Awareness of the Body), SECS (Students Encouraging Consensual Sex), and the MP(The Masculinity Project). WGRAC also oversees the Big Sister/Little Sister program for incoming first-year students. In addition, they coordinate the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), offer trips to exciting places around country, such as Ferguson and El Paso, and work closely with Trinity’s administration on issues related to sexual assault and Title IX.
It is truly the student-led groups that form the heart of the WGRAC community and are an example that,“if you have an idea for an issue that needs to be addressed, we can make it happen,” stated Daley.
WGRAC’s student groups confront a variety of controversial topics and meet weekly to address them. PHAB works to raise awareness across campus on issues about, “body image, beauty standards, media influence, and disordered eating.” The organization meets Thursdays at 5:00pm in the lounge. SECS engages Trinity students to foster a culture that, “prevents gender-based violence,” and meets Mondays at 4:30pm in the lounge. The MP works to discuss, “issues related to gender roles and expectations and the varying definitions of masculinity,” and meets Mondays at 4:00pm in the Underground Coffeehouse.
WGRAC events have had an extensive impact across campus, most no- tably with the “Take Back the Night” program, spon- sored by SECS. This program occurs each year in an effort to address and create an awareness of sexual assault and the harrowing trials that face victims thereafter. The MP has also worked to foster an understanding of women’s struggles through their program “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes,” in which men wear high- heeled shoes for the day. WGRAC is a safe place where incidents of sexual assault can be discussed. Both Lockwood and Daley are confidential employees, meaning that they are obligated to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Trinity’s Title IX coordinator, but do not report the names of those involved or that of the reporter. Lockwood added, “our doors are open to anyone on campus who may need support, including both students and faculty.” WGRAC’s services extend to all reaches of the campus. WGRAC is always open to any and all who are interested in fostering a more inclusive campus community. To get involved, simply attend one of WGRAC’s weekly lunch-time discussions every Friday at 12:30pm in the WGRAC lounge.

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