WOW Panelists, 2013

Women on Wednesday

Women on Wednesday is a weekly noon-hour lecture series organized each semester by the Women’s Center that has become a signature program at St. Cloud State University. The goal of the program is to feature diverse women and their distinctive areas of expertise, which are figuratively and literally all over the map.  The topics we explore are as diverse as the women presenting them, but they address the political, economic, social and personal arenas that impact the status of women.

The 25-year old series originated as an informal brown bag lunch gathering and has evolved over the years to a more formal presentation-style series, bringing intelligent, savvy women from the local to the national level to speak to our campus community. The series is held in the Atwood Theatre in Atwood Memorial Center, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. most Wednesdays throughout fall and spring semesters.  Admission is free and open to the public. 

The Women’s Center will celebrate 25 years on the campus of St. Cloud State University during the 2014/15 Academic Year.  The Women’s Center was born from activism of faculty, staff and students in direct and indirect ways and through persistence and passion for feminist-led social change.  Our mission to advance women and address gender inequity is accomplished in myriad ways, including advocacy (both individual and institutional), support services, educational programming, scholarships and systems change. Having an institutionally-supported office to help students (and employees) explore and address the ways in which gender influences every aspect of one’s life exists for only 18% of students at four-year universities and colleges in the U.S. It is in this context that the Fall 2014 Women on Wednesday series has been organized.

We explore the following questions: What are some of the most important issues that have impacted student’s lives in relationship to gender over the past 25 years?  What impact has the work of the Women’s Center had on individual students who worked, interned, volunteered or in some way affiliated with the Women’s Center?  What would St. Cloud State University look and be like without the Women’s Center. Who are some of our feminist leaders today?

The Women’s Center has hosted more than 750 women from all walks of life, areas of expertise, diverse identities and life experiences over the past 25 years.  There is no way to avoid the word “wow” upon reviewing the women who have presented and topics we’ve addressed.  Please join us at Women on Wednesday during the 2014/15 academic year as we continue to offer this unique and interesting forum for women’s voices.

Current Series

The Future of Gender Justice: Be the Difference!
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Atwood Theatre
Series Booklet
Series Flyer


Wednesday, April 1

“Yes Means Yes.” A dialogue about affirmative consent policies

In September, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed the “Yes Means Yes” bill into law, redefining the standard of investigations into incidents of sexual assault on college campuses from the established “no means no” to the requirement of an affirmative consent: instead of campus investigators having to prove that a victim rejected sexual advances, they must instead prove that there was clear, un-coerced consent from the victim. Supporters of the law note that this helps to change the culture around sexual consent and sexual assault by moving the responsibility of the crime from the victim to the perpetrator.  Those critiquing the law don’t believe that this policy alone will create the change needed to prevent or end campus sexual assault. Namely, for this policy to be effective, it will require consistent training, especially for adjudicators and others who deal with campus sexual assault, as well as training and regular reinforcement with students.  Join us for an important conversation about this new policy initiative moving forward in Minnesota and around the country.

Presenters:  Katie Eichele is the Director of The Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has served the UMN since 2004 in roles such as the Coordinator of Judicial Affairs before providing leadership at the nationally-recognized and awarded Aurora Center on issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking.  Eichele received her B.S. in Mass Communications and her M.S. in Marketing, Public Relations, and Advertising from North Dakota State University, but her background and professional experience stem from social justice, university conduct, student development, and crisis management. This expertise led to an invitation from the U.S. Senate to speak at roundtable discussions broadcast on CSPAN as the Obama administration told colleges and universities to do a better job of preventing and investigating sexual assault. 

Jeanne Ronayne is the new Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault.  She served as program manager of the Victim Services Program of Dodge, Fillmore, and Olmsted County Community Corrections for the past 17 years and previously worked in Corrections as a probation officer with female offenders and supervisor of juvenile probation. She served on the MNCASA board of directors, has been successful building multidisciplinary teams and has presented at numerous state and national conferences.  Ronayne received MNCASA’s 2009 Outstanding Service Award, the 2012 Champion of Diversity Award from the Diversity Council of Rochester, and the Outstanding Women in Leadership Award from the Olmsted County Diversity Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and is an Associate in Human System Dynamics.

 In commemoration of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Women on Wednesday Recordings - Spring 2015
February 4, 2015 What's Next? The LGBTQ Community Looks Forward MP3
February 11, 2015 The Best Party Ever: Male Allies Challenge Gender Violence MP3
February 18, 2015 Latinas and Grassroots Organizing in Central Minnesota MP3
February 25, 2015 My Masculinity Helps (Film and Discussion)  
March 4, 2015 Pornland: How the Porn Industry has Hijacked Our Sexuality (Film and Discussion)  
March 18, 2015 Hollaback!: An Exploration of Identity and Street Harassment in the Age of Online Feminism MP3
March 25, 2015 Expanding the Conversation: Hmong and Somali Women's Empowerment Forum MP3
April 1, 2015 "Yes Means Yes." A Dialogue About Affirmative Consent Policies  
April 8, 2015 Is Beyonce a "Real" Feminist? Celebrity Feminisms, Activisms and System Change  
April 15, 2015 SLUT: The Play - A Post-Play Discussion