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Women’s Health Resource Center hosts party to boost awareness on campus

Party-goers dance the night away. (Heather McDaniel)

The Women’s Health Resource Center hosted their 3rd annual Coming Out Party on Oct 7, in an attempt to spread awareness about their programs and the importance of women’s health on campus.

Despite its name, the party was not intended as a space for people to come out of the closet, but rather, was in anticipation of the day when the WHRC will be able to move out of its current location on campus.

“We want to come out of our closet of a space,” Lilah Crews-Pless said, one of 8 board members and the Resources Coordinator for the WHRC.

The volunteer-centered organization supplied attendees with snacks, wine, dance music, along with condoms and dental dams.

WHRC volunteers Michele Collender and Isabella Vargas pose during their smoke break. (Heather McDaniel)

“We are trying to raise awareness,” said first year Solana Willis, who has just started volunteering for the WHRC this year. “Not a lot of girls are showing up” to the resource center, she said. Willis was in charge of greeting people and showing them the array of safe sex goodies available at the WHRC.

The WHRC has been on campus since 2005, though it was not an official student resource until 2008, when it was able to find a space in Cowell to call home, according to Crews-Pless. The program has been there ever since.

The WHRC is, however, applying for a larger space on campus, hence their “Coming Out Party”, referring to the hope of one day moving out of the closet-sized space the organization currently has.

In its current state, the WHRC provides students with confidential services pertaining to safe sex, domestic violence, nutrition and information about local health care providers and doctors.

“Our mission is to create a student-run, sustainable, on-campus space that provides confidential, safe access to information and resources concerning health and safety for all Mills College students,”

Even though the organization is aimed at women, it also provides resources for trans-gendered students as well.

“The WHRC is a huge trans ally and it has tons of trans resources,” Crews-Pless said.

As far as the event goes, Crews-Pless was pleased with the turnout.

“Mills women do not come out to things often,” she said.

The event had gathered 86 RSVPs on its Facebook page, according to Jisel Moore, a junior at Mills and a volunteer with the WHRC for 3 years.

“We throw some pretty bomb parties,” she said.

The party got off to a slow start, but the pace picked up as the night progressed.

“This party is the ‘da bomb!” said transfer student Kate Cohen.

Heather McDaniel contributed to this report