Women's Center Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a campus office for women or gender equity services?
Yes! The Women’s Center in Bridges 154 is part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and advocates for women while also attending to their diverse identities like race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, dis/ability, age, and more. We collaborate across campus to provide supports, programming, and leadership development focused on women.
What does the Women’s Center do?
The Women’s Center works to educate our campus about gender justice and issues impacting women of diverse backgrounds. We accomplish this by offering programming, events and free resources, and through dialogue, collaboration, and purposeful action. We want to inspire a collective commitment to fighting all forms of discrimination on MSUM’s campus, not just sexism, because we understand that systems of oppression are interconnected. Our goal is to empower students of all genders to serve as ethical leaders and agents of change on their campus and in their communities.
You can learn more about our events and how to make change by following us on social media or visiting our page on Dragon Central.
What activities are sponsored on campus for women?
The Women’s Center provides programming throughout the academic year, including Take Back the Night each fall, events for Women’s History Month, and AAUW Smart Start Salary Negotiation Workshops. We also offer films, panels and other workshops, and regularly host both local and nationally renowned speakers of diverse identities to talk about issues impacting women. We also collaborate with student organizations and our partners in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to support History and Heritage Month events.
MSUM holds a university partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Through this partnership, we are able to regularly offer Smart Start Salary Negotiation Workshops and support student leaders attending AAUW’s annual National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) each May.
Is the Women’s Center only for women?
The Women’s Center is for everybody! We serve as a resource for every member of the MSUM community, and people of all genders are welcome. We work to educate our whole campus about issues of gender, critical social justice, and equity. Our events are generally free and open to everyone, including members of the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Are trans women welcome in the Women’s Center?
Yes! Trans women are women. We welcome individuals of all gender identities, including transgender and non-binary individuals, to use the Women’s Center and its resources. We are committed to making the Center an inclusive and affirming space.
Is gender included in MSUM’s non-discrimination policy?
Yes! Gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression are all included in MSUM’s nondiscrimination policy. These identity categories are also protected in the state of Minnesota.
Does MSUM have a Women’s Studies Program?
Yes! MSUM offers a Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) minor, and WGS courses are open to students from any major (and any gender) who wish to enroll. In addition, students may take advantage of the Tri-College system to take WGS courses at NDSU and Concordia as well!
Many students describe their experience of taking a WGS course as deeply transformative. You can learn more about MSUM’s WGS Program.
Do I have to be a Women’s Studies major or minor to use the Women’s Center?
The Women’s Center is NOT just for Women’s Studies students! Students from all majors are welcome to use the Women’s Center to socialize, hold student organization meetings or events, study, find community and learn about gender justice. We also offer lots of free resources, including our specialized library. You can browse the contents of our library online or drop into Bridges 154 to browse the shelves in person.
What is feminism?
Feminism is the belief that women should have social, political, and economic rights equal to those of men. Feminism also recognizes that “woman” isn’t a universal category defined by a person’s biology. People of any gender can identify as feminist. If you want to learn more about feminism (ex. ecofeminism, Black feminism, womanism, intersectional feminism…so much to learn!), the Women’s Center is a great place to start.
Do I have to identify as a feminist to use the Women’s Center?
You do not have to identify as a feminist to use the Women’s Center or attend our events! We know that everyone is in a different place when it comes to learning about gender roles, feminism and social justice and meet people where they’re at in their learning. We’re here to support YOUR development and growth.
The Women’s Center offers “feminist community,” meaning that our staff are committed to working for equity and inclusion for people of all gender identities, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, citizenship status, class, dis/ability, body size or any other identity. We envision a world where everyone has bodily autonomy and can be free from the rigid gender roles that prevent all of us from realizing our whole, authentic selves.
Is there an active feminist organization on campus?
Yes! Campus Feminist Organization (CFO) is open to students of any gender identity and meets weekly during the academic year. CFO raises awareness of issues and events pertaining to women and other underrepresented genders and strive to provide a safe, social atmosphere in which to discuss these issues. CFO embraces and models activism as a vehicle for making change and supports students’ active engagement on campus and in their communities.
They also host great events throughout the year like their annual Smash the Plate-riarchy event each spring.
Anyone is welcome to attend a meeting to meet members and learn more about the organization. You can find CFO on Dragon Central.
Can I volunteer at the Women’s Center?
Yes! We often need volunteers for our big annual events like Take Back the Night, among others. We also welcome students who have an idea or vision for an event, program, or needed resource on campus to work with us to make it happen. You can drop by the Women’s Center (Bridges 154) or contact the Coordinator of Gender and Sexuality (218.477.4973) to learn more.
Does MSUM offer scholarships for women students?
Incoming and current students can complete one universal application to be considered for any of MSUM’s many scholarships! MSUM typically awards more than $3.36 million in scholarships each based on academic achievement, exceptional talent and financial need. In addition, MSUM offers several identity-based scholarships, which are included in the universal application.
The scholarship application is open from October 1 – February 1 each year. Prospective and current students learn more about scholarships.
In addition, the Women’s Center lists some external scholarships on our webpage.
Does MSUM have sororities I can join?
Yes! MSUM has two sororities, Delta Zeta and Gamma Phi Beta. Both are bonded by the Panhellenic Association. Both sororities have houses near campus, though some members also live on campus in residence halls or off-campus in other housing. Both sororities offer an opportunity to form meaningful connections with other members, become engaged on campus and in the community, and develop their leadership.
You can learn more about Delta Zeta and Gamma Phi Beta on their Dragon Central pages.
What women’s sports does MSUM offer?
MSUM boasts nine women’s sports teams, including basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball – plus club sports like Women’s Rugby and Women’s Lacrosse. MSUM also has a Dragon Dance Team that competes both regionally and at nationals in Orlando, Florida - they’re on fire!
To learn more about our women’s sports at MSUM, visit Dragon Athletics.
What supports does MSUM offer for student parents?
MSUM supports and accommodates pregnant and parenting students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Our campus has three private lactation/meditation rooms on campus that offer quiet spaces to nurse, pump or pray throughout the weekday. Lactation rooms can be used by any student, faculty or staff member, or campus visitor. The largest is located inside the Women’s Center in Bridges 154 and is typically open from 8:00am-8:00pm Monday-Friday during the academic year (hours may vary during summer and breaks). Our lactation room offers a refrigerator to store milk and pumping equipment during the day, as well as a changing table and sink.
Two additional lactation rooms are available in the CMU and in Murray Hall. We have more information about our lactation/meditation rooms online.
MSUM also partners with the Jeremiah Program in Fargo-Moorhead to support low-income single mothers who are working to start or complete a Bachelor’s degree. Learn more about what they do and who is eligible for their program.
Is childcare available on campus?
Yes! MSUM students, faculty and staff can enroll their children in the Early Education Center. Students receive a discounted rate. In addition, students who are Minnesota residents may also be eligible for Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education Childcare Grant.
You can contact the Early Education Center or enroll your child by visiting their webpage.
For more information about the Childcare Grant, visit their website.
Are safe sex supplies offered on campus?
Both the Women’s Center(Bridges 154) and Rainbow Dragon Center (Bridges 150) offer free safer sex supplies, including lubricant and latex condoms (for those with allergies, latex-free condoms are available upon request) plus instructions on how to easily turn a condom into a dental dam.
In addition, the Women’s Center offers free pregnancy tests and emergency contraception (sometimes called Plan B) thanks to donation and grant programs (availability may vary).
Planned Parenthood is also located just 3 miles from campus and provides affordable birth control, emergency contraception, STI testing, and general women’s health care. They also provide a welcoming environment and care for transgender and LGBTQ+ individuals. They provide health care to individuals with or without insurance and offer a sliding fee scale.
Is women’s health care available on campus?
MSUM’s Case Manager works with all students to find community-based medical and mental health services that work with your insurance. They can also help if you don’t have insurance. You can learn more about the services offered or make an appointment with the Case Manager, Jamie Skrove.
How does MSUM address sexual violence on campus?
The MSUM Sexual Violence Prevention Committee meets monthly to address campus climate, prevention education and compliance through data-driven assessment and cross-campus collaborations. We also partner with our local community-based Rape and Abuse Crisis Center to provide free confidential counseling and advocacy, prevention education, and resources on campus.
MSUM provides all students and staff, including Campus Security Authorities and mandated reporters, with ongoing education about sexual violence, Title IX, and reporting. You can learn more about everything we do to create a safe community.
In addition, events throughout the year provide our whole campus community with opportunities to learn more about consent, gender-based violence, safer sex and sexuality. Annual events include Take Back the Night, bystander intervention trainings, and activities during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month each April.
Where can I get help if I or someone I know has been sexually assaulted or is in an abusive relationship?
Whether you are experiencing sexual assault or relationship violence or trying to help a friend, there are several resources on campus that can help.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, always call 911. Other helpful crisis hotlines.
Both MSUM Counseling Services (located in Hendrix) and our local Rape and Abuse Crisis Center (RACC) offer FREE and confidential advocacy and mental health services.
- MSUM Counseling Services: 218.477.2221
- RACC free 24-hour hotline: 1.800.344.7273
Acts of sexual or relationship violence, like stalking, verbal abuse or physical abuse, can be reported to the Title IX Coordinator, located in the Dean of Students Office (Flora Frick 153). If you’re concerned about a friend, roommate, peer or student, you can fill out a CARE Team report.
Public Safety on campus can also assist 24 hours a day at 218.477.2449. Call Public Safety does not mean that you must report an incident to the local police.
I’m pregnant and not sure what to do next. Where can I go?
Planned Parenthood is located just 3 miles from campus and provides affordable women’s health care to individuals with or without insurance. They can talk you through all of your options – including pregnancy and birth, abortion referral, or adoption – so you can decide what is best for you without pressure. They also provide a welcoming environment and care for transgender and LGBTQ+ individuals.
The Red River Women’s Clinic provides safe, high-quality abortion care and family planning services. They are open every Wednesday. In addition, the North Dakota Women in Need (WIN) Fund helps low-income women and individuals without insurance obtain abortion services through financial assistance grants.