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Dianne Thomas
Director of the Betsy Dole Women's Resource Center
Conservatory 141
(269) 749-6626

About the Betsy Dole Women's Resource Center
The Olivet College Betsy Dole Women's Resource Center provides information, education and services related to gender issues. Established in 1997, the mission of the Betsy Dole Women's Resource Center is to:

  • Support, educate and empower women of all cultures, races, sexual orientations and ages
  • Provide a safe environment while respecting all facets of women’s abilities, spirituality and differences
  • Celebrate women’s achievements      
  • Engage men as allies
  • Advocate for a climate that promotes social justice free of all barriers and discrimination
  • Educate men on women’s issues and the complexities of healthy masculinity
  • Provide a supportive atmosphere that helps eradicate gender-based inequities and encourages and facilitates the evolution and development of personal and academic potential

Helpful Links
Advisory Committee
Social Science Department
Wellness Center
Women's and Gender Studies Minor

Calendar of Events

NOW on Campus
The Women’s Resource Center is sponsoring the NOW on Campus organization. NOW, the National Organization for Women, is a nation-wide organization working to improve the lives of women. Meetings times alternate, check the WRC calendar of events for exact dates.

Book Group
Each month the Book Group meets at the WRC for a lively book discussion. Book selections are intended to include socially significant topics relevant to issues and situations that are important to women. The goal is to enrich lives by developing a community of readers.  All are welcome to join.

Student Ambassador Program
The ambassador program's purpose is to promote the Women's Resource Center and foster collaboration between the center and student groups (e.g. residence halls, organizations, sororities, athletic teams, etc).

Student Ambassadors Responsibilities:

  • Give presentations about Women's Resource Center programs and services to groups that visit the Center as well as groups that request information on the Center (e.g., residence halls, sororities, athletic teams, student organizations).
  • Hold office hours each week at the center to prepare presentations, conduct research or follow-up on requests from particular groups, and/or to learn more about the Women's Resource Center.
  • Establish and maintain connections with student organizations to increase opportunities for program support and collaboration.
  • Represent and promote the Women's Resource Center at campus events.
  • Assist the Women's Resource Center staff with coordination of programs.

Advisory Committee
Regina Armstrong
Karen Chaney
Mariah Cosper
Sharon Hobbs
Linda Logan
Cynthia Noyes
Nancy Oliver
Sarah Phillips
Jake Schuler
Dianne Thomas
Nancy Van Hoozier
Ex officio
Norma Curtis
Betsy Dole


Women's and Gender Studies Mission Statement
This program is intended to increase a student's knowledge, interest and appreciation of needs, contributions, problems and aspirations of women and also of the way that gender shapes the lives of both women and men. Women's Studies will illuminate the subject matter of much of the rest of the curriculum from the perspective of women and gender. The courses under the minor emphasize cultural diversity and the varied experiences faced by women in the United States and the world. The interdisciplinary nature of the program provides an opportunity to examine several theoretical / critical perspectives (e.g., historical, sociological, legal, psychological, ethnographic, scientific, political, aesthetic).

Women's and Gender Studies Minor Courses
(21 semester hours)

Complete each of the following: (12 semester hours)

WGS201 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (3)
WGS241 Feminist / Womanist Theory I (3)
WGS342 Feminist / Womanist Theory II (3)
HST341 American Women I (3)
HST342 American Women II (3)

Complete three of the following:

WGS/ART/MUS/THR234 Women in the Arts (3)
WGS/HWL255 Women, Health and Sports (3)
WGS/SA308 Uncloseting America (3)
WGS/BUS370 Women and Business (3)*
WGS399 Perspectives on Masculinity (3)
WGS403 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies (3)*
WGS415 Women in the Bible (3)
WGS450 Special Topics (3)
JMC/WGS101 Introduction to Mass Communication (3)
SA302 Topics in Inequality – Gender (3)*
SA304 Sport, Culture and Society (3)*
PSY/SA/WGS309 Psychology of Gender (3)*
HST341 American Women I (3)
HST342 American Women II (3)
SCI/WGS350 Gender, Race and Science (3)*
IDS390 Cooperative Education (1-15)*

NOTE: Course numbers followed by an asterisk (*) have prerequisites. Check course descriptions for details.


1. Why does Olivet College need a Women's Center?
Olivet College, like the wider world, has not yet achieved full gender equity for women and so support programs like the Women's Center are needed to help Olivet become a more equitable, welcoming place for women. Everyone benefits when all students, faculty and staff feel valued and are allowed to contribute to their fullest extent.The Women's Center helps Olivet College be a better place for everyone by supporting and creating a sense of community for women, educating the campus about equity and climate issues and the contributions of women, and advocating for women's full access to and participation in the institution.

2. What is gender equity? Gender equity in an educational setting means an equal chance at learning for females and males, with open options to learn subjects and prepare for future education, jobs and careers without expectations based on gender. Equal encouragement for all to develop, achieve and learn is essential equitable treatment and is required by law. Gender equity principles also apply in the workplace and affect staff and faculty.

3. What does the Women's Center do?The Women's Center's mission is to empower women for the benefit of all. We serve faculty, staff, students and community members by providing space, resources and programs--space for meetings, studying, reading and relaxing; resources like books, journals, and videos; and programs like Tea @ 3, book discussions, and annual events like the Women's Conference and the Take Back the Night march.

4. What's the difference between the Women's Center and Women's Studies Program?The Women's Center and Women's and Gender Studies Program have distinct, yet complementary, missions. Women's Studies is an academic program offering a minor in Women's Studies. The Women's Center is a support program for students, faculty and staff. Both programs provide learning opportunities and support and advocacy for women, bring women together to build community, and place women at the center of inquiry and action. Both programs have a long history of working together to transform the curriculum, the campus environment and society at large.

5. Why isn't there a men's center?
Very few schools have men's centers because it's generally recognized that men already have full access to educational and employment opportunities as required by law. While campus-based women's centers are set up to help colleges and universities be better places for women, most women's centers welcome men's involvement in their work and many men actively support the work of women's centers. Men are welcome to participate and support the work of the Women's Center at Olivet College.

Olivet College Commencement scheduled for May 17 (Apr 23, 2014)

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