Leanne Monks discusses planned International Women’s Day events
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
After a yearlong hiatus, the Douglas College Women’s Centres once again have student staffing. As of this year’s winter semester, Douglas student Leanne Monks has been employed as the Women’s Centre student assistant.
“With everything happening, I think that being vulnerable and having a place to be vulnerable is the best way to be creating community,” said Monks, who’s been running the New Westminster and David Lam Women’s Centres since January.
In association with the Douglas Students’ Union, Monks will be hosting an event this week in honour of International Women’s Day, which is held annually on March 8.
“The point of International Women’s Day is to recognize that the women’s community stretches beyond your friends, beyond your school … the world is our community. Being aware of that is not only a responsibility, but it’s also a support, to understand that we have each other’s backs.”
This year’s International Women’s Day event will be celebrated with a clothing swap, where donated clothes and shoes will be put out for students to trade and keep. Afterwards, a fashion show will take place for students to show off their new outfits.
“We don’t have a lot of money as students, so let’s share clothes,” said Monks. “We don’t have a lot of time, but let’s find out what we have in common and have some fun once in a while.
“We considered doing a fundraiser, [but] we decided that because our purpose was encouraging community … I think that, from the Women’s Centre, we want to start with a, ‘Yes, there are scary things and horrible things in the world, but we can support each other,’ and so that’s why we decided to make the [clothing swap] a free event.”
Monks stressed that the Women’s Centre as a student service should be a major focus of the college. However, while the Women’s Centre’s main purpose is to provide safe spaces for students in need, Monks explained that there should also be attention placed on the lighter things in life.
“I know a lot of International Women’s Day events are about informing people about the atrocities that happen all over the world against women, about global issues, issues in the community about equality. I think that those things are really important, I think that it’s important to have the ‘No Means No’ campaign,” but Monks added it’s important to have time for fun as well.
The International Women’s Day “Coffee House, Fashion Show, and Clothing Swap” will be taking place on March 5 at the New Westminster campus in the concourse. The event will run from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. with refreshments and speakers planned throughout the day.
The Women’s Centre hours run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday to Friday. Staffed hours at New West are on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and at the David Lam campus Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.