ST. CLOUD -- There was a party going on at the Atwood Mall on the campus of St. Cloud State University this (Monday) afternoon.

The Women's Center is celebrating its 25th birthday in what's the start of a year long celebration.

Women's Center director Jane Olsen says the center is meant to promote gender equality at St. Cloud State University.

"The Women's Center is a department that in it's mission is to advance women and address gender equity on campus," says Olsen.

The celebration included birthday cake, lawn games, giveaways and an interactive art project by the Art Student Union, which when completed will be on display at the centers events throughout the year.

Graduate Assistant Kate Bennett says the work they do touches many lives.

"The work we do is so varied and everything we do has an impact whether that can be measured qualitatively or quantitatively," says Bennett.

Throughout its history the Women's Center has focused on many changes that have gotten better or worse in our society.

Olsen says she has seen changes for the better with sexual harassment and gender equality but how women have been displayed has gotten worse.

"Whether it would be dating violence, issues for new mom's so we have something for everyone," says Olsen.

Around 18 percent of colleges and universities have a women's center and Bennett says its an important part in a growing community.

"It's important to have this kind of place that talks about those kinds of things that focus on peoples lives that maybe most universities can't address," says Bennett.

You can find the Women's Center on Facebook to follow on what events will be coming up over the course of the year.


The St. Cloud State University Women's Center holds a birthday celebration for its 25th Anniversary. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)