Correction: In the original version of this article, some information was mistakenly attributed to Christina Aubrecht, outreach coordinator for the Dalhousie Women’s Centre. The source of that information was in fact Jean Ketterling, administrative and volunteer coordinator for the Centre. The caption for the photo accompanying the article also mistakenly identified Ketterling as Aubrecht. In addition, the date of the Centre’s special general meeting was mistakenly given as Oct. 13. The correct date is Oct. 17. The article and caption have been corrected online. The Gazette regrets these errors.
Come January, the Dalhousie Women’s Centre (DWC) will be the South House Gender and Sexual Resource Centre. On Oct. 17, the society held a special general meeting to change the constitution, and the motion passed unanimously.
Jacqueline Vincent is the chair of the centre’s board. “The new name is a much more accurate representation of what we do now, what we’re offering now, and where we’re going in the future,” she says.
“Everyone involved in the centre is incredibly onboard with this. Everyone I’ve talked to has been really, really supportive.”
The centre will be re-launching with its new name, a new logo and a new website in January, says Jean Ketterling, the DWC’s administrative and volunteer coordinator.
“This will be an indicator to people that this space is inclusive. Hopefully that barrier, which people have identified as the name, will come down and people will feel more comfortable coming in,” says Ketterling. “We just want to continue moving towards gender equality and inclusion.”
The DWC is probably best known to Dal students for the annual Take Back the Night march held in late September, but events are held throughout the year. Consent Fest, a two-day conference in late November, is their next big event, says Ketterling. The house also serves as a venue for other groups, including the Bad Book Club, a queer and sex-positive erotica reading group.
The name change is less of a change in direction than it is an acknowledgement of confusions caused by the old name.
“We would go tabling, and say that we’re the Dalhousie Women’s Centre and then have to qualify that,” says Vincent. “We’re not just for Dal students. We’re not just for women. We are a centre—that’s accurate.”
“We’re a house, we’re on South Street, we’re a resource centre about certain issues. And this is much more accurate and makes it more explicit that a variety of people are welcome.”
Created during the nation-wide response to the Montreal Polytechnique massacre, the Dal Women’s Centre has been funded by a direct levy on Dal students since 1993. King’s has been contributing since 2007. The centre is located on South Street in front of the DalPlex.