This week, hundreds of Brooklyn College students, staff, and faculty members gathered together and held a rally to bring attention to recent cuts that were made to the school’s Women’s Center and other student-centered resources.
According to a release, the college’s Women Center was in the process of hiring two permanent full-time staff members in Spring 2023, when CUNY Central made the decision to enforce a hiring freeze.
Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson was reportedly recommended by Brooklyn College’s Vacancy Review Board to carry through with filling the positions, but refused to do so.
As a result of the cuts, the Women’s Center’s full-time staffing will be reportedly reduced by 40%, leading to a number of impacts such as fewer events for students and decreased hours of operation, among others.
The Brooklyn College members present at the rally were joined by numerous local elected officials, including Brooklyn Council Member Shahana Hanif.
As a former student, Hanif acknowledged the importance of the Women’s Center, and says that the cuts would be disastrous for students that utilize its services.
“When I was a student at Brooklyn College, the Women’s Center was my home. Without the support and guidance offered by this urgent community space, I would not be the person I am today,” said Hanif.
“We know that the proposed cuts to the Women’s Center would be devastating to the critical programming it offers, yet Brooklyn College’s administration continues to gaslight the student body about these funding impacts. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with the faculty, staff, and students to demand we preserve and expand the Women's Center for years to come.”
Founded in 1976, the Women’s Center has long served as a hub for Brooklyn College students.
In addition to offering a safe space for marginalized women and gender non-conforming students, the Women’s Center also provides a gathering place for student clubs, along with support services for scholars that need it.
“From providing an opportunity for professional growth, to counseling, to helping me become a well-rounded student and individual, the Women’s Center was something I will always be grateful for,” said Safina Babar, CUNY alum.
“It was a place of belonging, relaxation, and community. I genuinely think President Anderson should reconsider her decision as she’ll be taking away opportunities for professional growth, a sense of community, and truly a safe space for students.”
“While the college is facing budgetary constraints, the administration strongly supports the Women's Center, and there is no consideration being made to close it. The Women's Center is currently staffed by one full-time staff member, three part-time staff members, and numerous federal work-study students," a statement from Brooklyn College reads.
"The two full-time positions requested by the center are on pause until funding becomes available, as are dozens of other positions across the campus. The college remains committed to addressing staffing challenges in this and all areas as we work together to ensure a vital community for our students.”