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Stanford Community Centers

Women’s Community Center

The history of the Women's Community Center can be traced to the 1970s when a group of Stanford women started holding regular meetings to discuss common challenges of being women students in a male-dominated academic setting. As this group grew, they named themselves the Women's Collective and advocated for meeting space at the Toyon eating clubs. As was happening on many college campuses across the nation, these women worked together to advocate for a more equitable educational experience for women students. Issues they addressed include sexual harassment, pay equity and discrimination in the classroom.

In the 1980s, they appealed to the university for a half-time graduate student coordinator position to assist the group with providing programs and services to the greater campus community. They were successful in this appeal and, in 1991, the group was allocated space in the Old Fire Truck House, where it was re-named the Women’s Center. Through effective lobbying efforts, the center attained additional funding which allowed for the creation of a full-time director position as well as the addition of seven student staff members.

As the result of more recent efforts to develop quality programs and services for women students at Stanford, the center now employs two full-time professional staff members in addition to three graduate student coordinators and eleven undergraduate student program coordinators. The Women's Community Center is now a university department under the Division of Student Affairs. The Women’s Collective is currently known as the Women’s Coalition and serves as an umbrella organization for other Women’s Voluntary Student Organizations (WVSOs).

For more information about the history of women in general at Stanford University, various resources and reading suggestions, please see A Woman's Guide to Stanford (PDF), which was last published by the WCC in 2011. This publication is no longer updated due to cost and sustainability. Our website now serves as a hub for the resources and information previously provided by this document.