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WSU’s Safe@Weber advocacy services

A pamphlet that talks about the Women’s Center.

For over 40 years, Weber State University’s Women’s Center has worked to inspire and empower students with a variety of great resources and events.

When the Women’s Center first came to campus in 1980, the center’s predominant purpose was to advise non-traditional women who were coming back to school. In its time at Weber State the Women’s Center has grown with each passing semester.

As Paige Davies, the former Director of the Women’s Center, has moved into the position of Assistant Dean of Students, WSU is currently working on announcing an interim director of the Women’s Center.

Davies declined a request for an interview on her time at the Women’s Center.

“Our mission statement is about gender equity for all people. We also think about feminist leadership and intersectional feminism, it is very important to us,” explained Jessica Pleyel, the Safe@Weber Advocate.

Pleyel first came to Weber State in 2019 and since has worked as the Safe@Weber Advocate and has supported survivors on campus. Pleyel also teaches classes in women and gender studies, and rock climbing in the outdoor recreation department.

The Safe@Weber Advocacy Services provided at Weber State are for individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct, harassment and domestic violence. This program can help students who have experienced a form of trauma to get the resources and help they need to develop a safety plan, file a legal report or find counseling.

Safe@Weber also provides services to people escaping a violent environment by providing resources such as two months of free shelter, child care and legal advice amongst many others. Most importantly, Safe@Weber wants students to feel safe and supported. For more information, visit Safe@Weber’s webpage.

Safe@Weber also provides training that provides information on how to have a healthy relationship and bystander intervention.

“A lot of things we aren’t taught in school so it is good to have these conversations,” Pleyel said.

Safe@Weber has also started a new ambassador program that is working to train faculty, staff, and students to become ambassadors for Safe@Weber. That means knowing the campus resources and knowing how to support individuals who have experienced violence.

Among the many services provided by the Women’s Center, there are also plenty of activities and programs that all students are welcome to participate in. Last October, the center had an event called “Monsters and Media” which was a collaboration with the LGBT Resource Center.

“Our students talked about myths and stereotypes in horror movies. It was really fun,” Pleyel said.

Every month, the center has an event called a “Sister Circle,” which is a series of discussions, talks and presentations on subjects including identity, oppression and self-care.

The Women’s Center’s biggest event of the year is in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Take Back the Night is an event at the Monarch Theater in Ogden, that protests and spreads awareness of sexual violence.

“It is a really powerful event. We march downtown in Ogden and then we come back to the Monarch, and we have a survivor speak out and tell their stories,” Pleyel said.

Take Back the Night has been an empowering event since the 1960s to help victims and survivors of sexual assault. Everyone is invited to participate in the rally.

The Women’s Center offers a variety of scholarships every year, regardless of gender.
“We have quite a few single-parent scholarships that are really great. We have more broad scholarships and some that are more focused on STEM fields or nursing,” Pleyel said.

The Women’s Center provides the campus with a resource pantry that includes menstrual products, pregnancy tests and safe sex kits, all for free.

For more information about the Women’s Center events and resources, check their website or Instagram page for more updates and additional information on how to contact the center. The Women’s Center also has a newsletter that students can sign up for to stay informed.

The Women’s Center hopes to expand its services to all students and collaborate with more programs on campus in the future.

“We are here and we are happy to support students in any way that we can, whether that is coming in to grab a snack or if they need advocacy services,” Pleyel said.

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Cooper Hatsis
Cooper Hatsis, Culture Assistant Editor

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