What does the WRC provide as a student service?
The Women’s Resource Centre at the University of Ottawa is an inclusive, non-judgmental, pro-choice, feminist drop-in space that supports community members (women, trans* folk and men) who want to work together to challenge gender oppression on campus and in our communities.
We’re open Monday to Friday: 10am-4pm and we are located at UCU220 (between the Tim Hortons and the Scotiabank machine).
The best way to get a hold of us is to either drop by when we are open, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The WRC is a drop-in space, meaning that people can come in and hang out during the hours we are open to chat, read a book, use our microwave etc. People can also use our back room to make phone calls, breastfeed, or for peer-to-peer support.
On top of our drop-in services and volunteer opportunities, the WRC establishes a safe(r) space for a community of people and ideas to recognize and challenge gender inequities. Within the university community, the WRC strives to actively support and be involved in a broad range of equity initiatives external to the centre’s own campaigns.
The WRC has four paid staff: an Internal Coordinator, an Events Coordinator, a Community Relations Coordinator and an Advocacy Coordinator. However, we take direction related to all of our campaigns, events, and overall initiatives from students who use our service as well as our team of volunteers. This is a service for students by students.
Although the WRC does not provide on-going counseling services, the Centre is equipped with referrals to a number of support listening community organizations. Our coordinators are able to do short-term drop-in support around anything ranging from roommate problems to being triggered about sexual violence.
The WRC was established in 1974 but became an SFUO service a few years ago.
As a patriarchal and sexist society, our university community has a plethora of spaces that have historically been and continue to be “safe spaces” for cis-gender men to the exclusion of marginalized genders. These include workplaces, classrooms, dorms, the streets, etc. The WRC exists to provide a space that is safe(r) for all people, especially those who experience gender marginalization, to work together for the benefit of members of historically marginalized groups, and for that reason it is a space that privileges those who identify as women, trans*, genderqueer, two-spirit, etc.
However, the bottom line is that the WRC is committed to working together with people of all genders to create a community that is safe for all.
The WRC has taken a pro-choice position. This means that we believe that people should be able to decide on what they do with their own bodies. This is not the same as being “pro-abortion,” which falsely implies that abortion is promoted over all other options. We support a person’s right and freedom to choose to have an abortion or to carry their pregnancy to term.
We do not believe that this discriminates against people who are Pro-Life because it would be contrary to our mandate to represent the opinions of organizations that want to take away human rights and reproductive freedoms. Taking a Pro-Choice, and more specifically a Reproductive Justice, stance is about staying true to our equity mandate as both a student service and a student union.