After reading a recent article titled “Exponent Explains: Women’s Center promotes inclusion, equality at MSU,” I am very curious as to how exactly equality and inclusion are now defined here at Montana State. It’s funny because I always thought that equality meant something along the lines of being fair to all, especially regarding matters of rights and opportunities. Inclusion, to me, has always meant the act of being included with a group or purpose. Is this really what the Women’s Center is claiming to stand for? While I’ll be among the first to agree that a place where women can go for resources to help them through the variety of issues they are apt to face in college is a fantastic idea and an exceptional cause, I hardly think “promoting equality and inclusion” is part of what they actually do up there.
Through some second hand experience with the Women’s Center, and specifically Director Elizabeth Danforth, I have gathered that promoting said equality and inclusion is actually the farthest from what they truly do. When a friend of mine brought literature and information provided by a local organization, linked to a club she’s passionate about, she expected the Women’s Center to actually display it, in an effort to help women. The information she brought to them had a variety of resources that women facing an unplanned pregnancy could use, and better yet, all of these resources are within walking distance of campus. However, because it was not parallel with the values of Ms. Danforth, it must have been deemed unworthy of helping women in need, as it never saw shelf time in the Women’s Center.
Pair that circumstance with the uncooperative remarks my friend experienced, and I have to ask, are these the qualities we want a place designed to help our women to have? Is that what they need when they’re dealing with something tough? Is that the director and communication our women deserve? Ladies, how do you feel about literature, that one of your peers truly thinks could help you, being intercepted because it doesn’t match one woman’s values?
Equality? Inclusion? I’ll believe it when I see it, but the Women’s Center has a long way to go.