Sept. 2, 2022

Meet the Women’s Resource Centre: Applying feminist knowledge to promote equality and build community

Supportive environment geared to creating a more just and kind campus. Learn more, drop by for a visit, or get involved by applying to be a volunteer peer helper
UCalgary Women’s Resource Centre
Main Women's Resource Centre communal space. Devin Featherstone

Nestled on the fourth floor of MacEwan Student Centre is the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC), an inclusive space working to promote gender equality by cultivating a welcoming community through resources, education, peer support and safe supportive spaces.

The WRC offers the campus community the opportunity to learn and apply feminist knowledge learned in the classroom with the aim of creating a more just and kind campus. While its name might suggest otherwise, the WRC is open to everyone of all genders and backgrounds from students to staff, faculty, and the community.  

The WRC offers a wide range of programming and services that aim to enhance and enrich your time here at UCalgary. 

The WRC space 

Upon entering the space, you’ll be greeted by an open main communal area with a large table and conversation spaces to connect with fellow students.

Visit the library to enjoy quiet study, a place to meet, or enjoy the growing book collection while chilling in the hammock.

If you need peer support or a private quiet space to nap, meditate, chestfeed and/or pump, they have two safe haven rooms.

Peer support  

University can be an incredibly stressful time. Students who need someone to talk to or are looking for resources are welcome to drop by WRC in person or speak with a trained peer supporter online 

The WRC peer support program helps fellow students make informed choices by providing information and access to resources on-and-off campus. Peer support is open to everyone during our office hours.

Volunteer at the WRC

The WRC has always been my home away from home. A comfortable space during tough times," says alum Hend Elkaliouby. "The people in the space allowed me to learn more about the world through their openness and sincerity. I have grown so much through the nurture and care of my peers in the space. 

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the WRC. If you are looking to get involved, become a peer helper and join the team! The WRC recruits volunteer peer helpers at the start of every fall and winter semester. No experience is required. The office has one of the longest- and largest-running volunteer programs at UCalgary with a high retention rate.

Volunteer Emma Cherry, a fourth-year psychology (honours) student, says, "Volunteering at the WRC has been one of the most fulfilling and fun experiences that I've had while at the university.

I have personally grown and learned so much because of it, and I am so thankful for the space and the people I've met there for making it the welcoming, encouraging, and generous place it is.

As a volunteer, you’ll get to take advantage of the awesome space, interact with passionate and engaged individuals from diverse backgrounds, and learn through dialogue and research. Volunteering is also a great way to meet and mingle with folks from different disciplines and to have fun beyond the academic grind.

WRC happenings

You don’t have to be a volunteer to take advantage of the WRC space and offerings. Students are more than welcome to just stop by, study, hang out, meet and/or make friends and of course attend many, many events and workshops throughout the year. 

Some notable events include Women’s Week, a week of sessions, workshops and panels hosted in conjunction with International Women’s Day; the WRC Awards that recognize and celebrate the outstanding success of UCalgary community members; and the Women Leaders Speaker Series, featuring local women leaders who share their professional journeys and more.

Ask First  

One of WRC’s ongoing initiatives is Ask First, a consent awareness project in collaboration with the Consent Awareness and Sexual Education Club. Funded by the Students’ Union Quality Money, Ask First events promote dialogue and action in challenging negative stereotypes and myths about sexual assault and the attitudes and beliefs that manifest into sexual violence. The aim is to create a campus community free from harassment, discrimination and violence. 

The WRC is open year-round Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Stay up to date by following them on Instagram @wrccalgary or subscribing to their newsletter 

Get involved this fall semester. The WRC is currently recruiting volunteer peer helpers, and applications will be accepted until Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m.