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 Tuesday, November 13, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


New "CU-Boulder Women" website highlights campus organizations
by Melanie O. Massengale, internal communications

"Gender equity" is a watch-phrase at CU-Boulder, and as evidence of the university's focus on gender diversity, the Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis (PBA) has developed a website, CU-Boulder Women: An Institutional Commitment that summarizes the accomplishments of women students and alumnae and highlights some of the organizations that promote women's interests on campus.

The website was developed in the spring of 2007 in response to an inquiry from a college guide organization. In gathering statistics for the organization, it was determined that as of that spring, 47 percent of CU-Boulder undergraduates were women—a figure comparable to that of other public institutions in the United States. From this beginning, the site evolved into an online information resource for and about CU-Boulder women. The website will be updated as new information becomes available.

According to Frances Costa, research coordinator at PBA, much of the initial research was done on the Internet, accessing data sources both internal and external to CU-Boulder. For information on key CU-Boulder programs and organizations, Costa worked with members of organizations and groups such as the Wardenburg Health Center, the Women's Resource Center (WRC) and the Chancellor's Committee on Women (CCW).

CCW serves as a representative body for women across campus. The group is sensitive to issues such as oppression and marginalization, and interfaces with other organizations and committees including the GLBT Resource Center and CACMA. CCW also recognizes campus members who have fostered a positive environment for women, and the committee is represented on the Childcare Task Force and CU 101. "We are a committee of faculty, staff and students that is finding ways to improve the climate on campus for women," said Terri Stankiewicz, assistant director of human resources at Facilities Management and a co-chair of CCW.

In April 2005, CCW released a comprehensive report, Improving the Campus Environment for Women. "Since then, CCW has been working to bring about change as recommended by that report," Stankiewicz said. New information about CCW and its initiatives will be available on the PBA site.

The WRC works to create an environment in which women will thrive by promoting the interests of women on campus and in the community, working for social justice and providing students in particular a chance to exercise leadership. Andee Coco, a senior who has worked at the WRC for one year, is currently serving there as media coordinator. "As a sociology major, I find that WRC is an appropriate work experience for me," she said. "One of the services we sponsor is Open Hours, in which students confer with experts in women's health and with representatives from the Office of Discrimination and Harassment, the Office of Victim Assistance and more."

The new website is a resource for a variety of information, including fascinating facts about CU-Boulder women and their accomplishments. "It was interesting and rewarding to discover what a rich environment for women we have at CU-Boulder," said Costa. "For example, it was exciting to learn that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a CU woman graduate, became president of Liberia."


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