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Women's Center pushes to include all women

The Weber State University Women’s Center is making a push to be more inclusive of all different kinds of women after a student mentioned she wasn’t sure the center was for her because she is younger and not married, nor does she have children.

Carol Merrill, director of the Women’s Center, confirmed that the center is for all women.

“I have been here for a long time to watch the evolution of students,” Merrill said, “and the ways that students become empowered through the Women’s Center.”

In order to help make the push to be more inclusive, the Women’s Center sent out a survey to find out what women wanted to see from the Women’s Center. From this process, the center developed the Women Empowered group.

Dorothy Hill, women’s advocate for the Women’s Center, said she is very excited about the events Women Empowered has planned for the end of January and February. She said she is also excited to make the push for inclusion.

“All women,” Hill said. “Anybody. I would love to see a community of women evolve from this.”

Hill has several events planned for Women Empowered. She has set up events to help with women being leaders and providing women with an access code to StrengthsQuest. Other planned events include dream boards, mind-mapping, and open discussions about power roles of men and women.

“I would love women’s feedback,” Hill said. “I think this is new enough and flexible enough that women should let us know what they know and think.”

Both Hill and Merrill said the Women’s Center is open to input from anyone.

“We want women to come be a part of our student programming board,” Merrill said. “We want all women to come from all backgrounds. We want to empower them to be all they dream to be.”

The Women’s Center tries to help connect women to each other and to community resources. The staff is prepared to help with academic support, decision-making, time management, staying in college and solving problems.

“Women can gain a mentor,” Merrill said, “support system, someone who gets excited when something goes right. We are not a counseling center, but we are a 100-percent support center.”

Tammy Edwards, student worker at the Women’s Center, said she first came to the Women’s Center for support.

“I am a single mom,” Edwards said, “and my ex-husband disappeared for a while, then came back. I came in for support on how to deal with that and keep my daughter safe.”

Edwards said she was met with support, understanding and open arms. She said she found help at the Women’s Center.

“My advice is that if you have anything that you need,” Edwards said, “even if it’s for support on a bad day, it is a warm environment and always open. We have information available, and if we don’t have it, we will get it for you.”

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