WoCo — Women’s and Gender Studies in a Supportive Environment for Women

by Nina Campli

As the end of the fall semester draws near, it is time to apply for classes and, in some cases, different living situations. For those who are interested in Women and Gender Studies, the WoCo House is a perfect place to settle in for the spring semester.

Founded in 1989, WoCo, short for Women’s Concerns – A Feminist House, located in Eberhart Hall is dedicated to educating the Drew University community on issues of women and gender through events and monthly “zines”, or short pamphlet-like magazines. “We need a feminist house on campus,” said Alissa Glaeser (’18), Housing Assistant of WoCo, “because I think it is important now more than ever that activists have their voices heard and amplified by like-minded others.”

WoCo is the largest theme house on campus, currently housing nine out of a possible twelve residents, including Marina Mozak (’19), who moved in this past spring. “It’s nice,” Mozak said about being a member. “We have a little community within the house and it makes being in college much homier.”

WoCo runs and produces several events a year, both externally and internally, in order to promote their various topics of interest. “Our events range from tabling to co-sponsoring open mics with UPB to Take Back the Night in April,” said Glaeser.

“Our tabling events are usually in the fall for These Hands Don’t Hurt (October) and Trans Remembrance Day (November), along with creating monthly zines and spreading them around campus,” Glaeser continued. “Every other spring semester we do the Vagina Monologues, and every year we do Take Back the Night which is the most emotional and amazing experience for everyone involved.”

“The Take Back the Night March is always great but in an extremely emotional and cathartic way,” said Mozak of her favorite WoCo event. “I also always enjoy making our zines as a way to prompt discussions around campus.”

As for internal events, all members do House Programs, which are programs created by each member to educate the others on a topic related to a specific theme chosen by the Housing Assistant. These programs can be open to the campus, but more often than not are just for the house’s members.

As mentioned WoCo is looking for new members for the spring semester. Glaeser stated, “A person who would be a good fit for WoCo would be a motivated person who is not only interested in feminism but also passionate about coming up with new ideas for programs we can do that really engage with the campus as a whole.”

“The house is a place to live but it’s also a full time commitment, we have weekly house meetings, we’re always planning something or doing something and we are responsible for keeping our house clean and tidy,” Glaeser continued. “I don’t say this to deter people, I want tons of applicants and interest in the house – to make it a house full of different people, different viewpoints, different feminisms. I only say it to give people a clear understanding of what being in a theme house means.”

WoCo is taking applications for residents until November 22. The application is a Google document which can be reached here: https://goo.gl/forms/WR6brIOcEaohhJO53.

 

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