by: Autumn Martin
photo by Sahil Jagad
In the last five years, the UCI’s Womxn’s Hub has moved locations three times. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Hub will be located on the fourth floor of the Student Center.
Ever since its relaunch during Fall Quarter of 2016, pushed for by former Cross Cultural Director Jada Agua and former Womxn’s Hub Director Tamara Austin as well as other womxn, the Womxn’s Hub has had trouble finding a stable home on campus according to Womxn’s Hub program coordinator Adrian Williams.
The earliest form of the Womxn’s Hub at UCI was the Women’s Center, which opened during the 1973-1974 academic year. It was eventually defunded in 2006 under its new name, the Center for Women and Men, Williams explained, due to administration not understanding its importance.
“A lot of it is administration,” Williams said. “Administration feels they have ideas and notions about what’s best for our center without exactly knowing the work and seeing the impact of our center and the space.”
Williams spoke about the challenges that the move to the fourth floor in the Student Center may pose for students in regards to locating the space and utilizing its resources.
“I think it’s really unfair ultimately to the students because this is a resource that they can be taken advantage of, both of the physical resources that we offer in the space but also our programming,” Williams said.
Some of the resources that the Hub provides for womxn include feminine and hygiene products and snacks. Workshops on topics such as womxn empowerment and safer sex are also offered. Williams discussed the center’s importance and how it continuously seeks to empower womxn on campus.
“That is why these spaces are important … students are flowing in and out with very real life concerns that come along with cultural difference, that come along with gender difference,” Williams said. “When you are in those margins and you are facing different levels of systemic oppression you need a place to go where you can recharge, where you can seek solace [and] where you can be empowered.”
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Womxn’s Hub will continue to be located on the main floor of the Cross Cultural Center.