The Womxn’s Center for Success at UCI, previously known as the Womxn’s Hub, underwent a name change since their relocation to the Student Center during the 2020-21 academic year. The center took to social media to announce the change on their Instagram page in July.
The center made the site transition from the UCI Cross-Cultural Center to the fourth floor of the Student Center towards the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. They faced challenges in trying to secure a permanent on-campus location, which included a brief move to the portable classrooms at the edge of Mesa Court. According to the Womxn’s Center for Success Director Sydney Abril Torres, community input indicated that the portable location was not a good fit. It was during this transitional period that the center thought of changing its name.
“We did some reflection, not only with our student staff, but with a couple of the staff that started our space a few years ago when it was the Womxn’s Hub. We really wanted to understand that history in order to make the best informed decision,” Torres said. “Essentially, they shared with us that when the Womxn’s Hub started, it was in a very temporary place. They wanted people to know that ‘hub’ meant that we want this women’s space to be permanent on campus, just not yet.”
Since switching names, the Womxn’s Center for Success at UCI has obtained better funding for programs and student staff positions, allowing for more stable growth.
“We were excited to take on our own identity. That meant changing the ‘Hub’ part of our name, and along with that we re-evaluated our mission statement. We asked ourselves, ‘What is our center about?’ The word ‘success’ kept on coming up,” Torres said. “We are here for our community to be successful, for them to have a positive experience on campus. So, we decided to include that in our name as well.”
The pandemic initially proved difficult for the center; Torres arrived one week before the pandemic first broke out and, without other full-time staff, had to pause hiring for the program coordinator position. However, the center continued to provide virtual services and create new online spaces for students, including the Sad Girls Club at UCI.
The Sad Girls Club promotes emotional wellness in response to the mental health issues that arose from the pandemic. Now with 185 members on Facebook as of Oct. 10, the club’s UCI chapter is described by Torres as a space for “peer-to-peer interaction to normalize all emotions, not just happy ones.”
One of the new additions to the center this academic year is the Lactation and Wellness Room, which is expected to open in October 2021. It will provide students and staff with a safe environment to pump or breastfeed, among other wellness needs like meditation.
“We’re finishing up our full rebranding process by the end of October, and we can’t wait to reveal something that feels like us to the rest of the community on campus,” Torres said.
Yuika Yoshida is a Campus News Intern for the Fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at email@example.com.