February 1, 2005

What's in a name?

Fun and warm temperatures are not the only things missing at the University of Chicago. According to Rape Victims Advocates (RVA), Chicago is the only major university in the Chicago area without a women's center, which is seen as a safe haven for women, as well as a site for support groups, activist campaigns, and women's health programming. According to Nissa Thompson, a third-year in the College and member of RVA, a women's center formerly existed in the Blue Gargoyle space in the University Church on University Avenue, but was closed in the 1970s. In view of bringing such a center back to Hyde Park, RVA is having a meeting this Thursday, February 3, at 7 p.m. in Cobb 214. The group is exploring a number of possible venues both on and off campus.

RVA will provide food and show a film, Searching For Angela Shelton, following the meeting. In the movie, the brainchild of director Angela Shelton, Shelton sets out to meet every other woman with her name in the United States. Shelton made some startling discoveries about the 40 women she interviewed: 24 of them had been victims of sexual violence, just as she had been. The film is a survey of abused women in the United States, and has sparked a devoted following dedicated to improving the lives of such women.