Women’s Studies celebrates new home

The School of Women’s Studies now calls Founders College home.

Previously located on the seventh floor of the Ross Building, then housed temporarily in Winters College, the school now occupies 206 Founders College.

The move was cause for celebration of the new space and of the School of Women’s Studies itself on March 12 in Founders senior common room.

Right: From left, Professor Emerita Shelagh Wilkinson, President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden, and School of Women’s Studies Chair Kathryn McPherson

"We at the School of Women’s Studies are very proud of our new space," said Kathryn McPherson, Chair of the School of Women’s Studies, in her opening remarks. "It physically reflects the breadth and depth of Women’s Studies programming and feminist research at York. At the same time, our new home reflects the tremendous support we receive from the senior administration and staff who have helped make an interdisciplinary space like Women’s Studies possible at York." 

The School of Women’s Studies moved to 206 Founders College on Nov. 27. The spacious new suite brings together staff, faculty and resources previously scattered across campus. For the first time, it provides office space for contract and teaching assistants and some full-time faculty, and computer and study space for graduate students. It is also home to the Centre for Feminist Research, formerly housed in York Lanes, and it is across the hall from the editorial office for Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme and the Nellie Langford Rowell Library.

"This is a community building move and will help our students to take advantage of all of the women’s studies resources, above and beyond the undergraduate and graduate programs, in one inviting space on the second floor of Founders College," says Sue Sbrizzi, McPherson’s assistant.

At the official opening, York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden introduced the new book, Idealism and Accommodation: A History of Human Rights and Employment Equity at York University by Gill Teiman, former special assistant to the president, Centre for Human Rights & Equity, and contract faculty at York. 

Meg Luxton, director of York’s Centre for Feminist Research and graduate program director of Women’s Studies, urged guests to make a donation to York in memory of Doris Anderson, a long-time supporter of the School of Women’s Studies who died recently (see the March 6 issue of YFile). Donations would go towards the three graduate scholarships established with proceeds from Anderson’s 80th birthday celebration in 2001.

More news emerged at the event. Prof. Rusty Shteir announced the Women’s Studies Archives Project. A collection of materials relating to the establishment of Women’s Studies at York, including program and founding faculty members’ records, will be housed in the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collection.

Robert Drummond, dean of the Faculty of Arts, closed the event by thanking donors, some of whom were present, for contributions to the School of Women’s Studies.