Biographical / Historical
During the academic year 1979-1980, Haverford College began to admit female first year students. At this point Haverford was still a male dominated institution, even though they had already begun to admit some female transfer students and students from Bryn Mawr College, the women's college located nearby. In 1979, the president of Haverford College appointed a Committee on Women to evaluate the college and submit suggetions for changes necessary to smooth the transition of admitting female first year students. In the academic year 1980-1981, a group of female Haverford students banded together to campaign for the creation of a Women's Center. It was created in 1981, despite some concerns that such a center would segregate women from the community. The first and long term director of the Women's Center was Marilou Allen. Along with student staff members, Allen made the Women's Center both a physical meeting place for community conversations and an event planning body focusing on women's issues. They published a newsletter called "Vicissitudes" and hosted events such as lunch discussions, ERA letter-writing campaigns, lectures, concerts, and workshops. The women's center was located for years in the basement of the Dining Center, until it was moved to the Campus Center in 1994. As the twentifirst century progressed, the mission of the Women's Center changed, and their name changed to reflect that. The apostrophe was changed to an astericks in order to emphasize that the Women*s Center was a resource for all members of the Haverford community, regardless of their sex and gender. As of May 2018, the mission statement of the Women*s Center reads: "The Haverford College Women*s Center is a safe, inclusive, intersectional space open to folks to all genders. As a safe space, we believe in cultivating trust, accountability, transparency, support, empowerment, and a commitment to growth. We provide resources, education, outreach, and programming to the Haverford community. By modeling an accessible feminist collective, we seek to build solidarity among women, feminine-identified folks, and all marginalized communities." Some of the reoccuring events and activities that the Women's Center has put on throughout their history include: Sexvember, Take Back the Night, Speak Out, Herstory, Senior Women's Brunch, and the student hotline.