The President’s Commission on the Status of Women, a commission of elected women created to solve issues related to women on campus, is celebrating 30 years of advocating for women at Long Beach State.
Established in 1989, the PCSW’s mission is to initiate, advocate and implement “action that addresses the concerns of CSULB women students, faculty, staff and administrators.” PCSW comes together the second Friday of each month to talk about issues and create a plan of action on how to address them.
According to LBSU enrollment, 58% of the current student population is female.
“I think it’s important to note that although the ratio has gotten better, institutions of power were not historically built for women, let alone for women of color,” said Associated Student Inc. President Genesis Jara, a PCSW designee.
Members on the commission work to educate themselves on gender issues and find a way to advocate for change at the university.
“There have been many times where my peers or myself felt like higher education isn’t a space for us,” said ASI Vice President Leen Almahdi, a PCSW presidential appointee.
According to Almahdi, PCSW provides resources, visibility and programs to help appease these doubts.
One of the issues the commission works to solve is the lighting on campus. Every year, members and volunteers walk the campus at night to examine the lighting of walkways, parking lots and buildings for campus safety.
“The police went with them, and they analyzed every aspect of the campus,” said Terri Armstrong, PCSW co-chair.
According to Armstrong, this came about because of a recommendation from students that informed PCSW that campus was too dark at night.
“It’s ever changing,” said President Jane Close Conoley, whose office funds the commission. “I still find some of the campus dark. I was crossing the quad last year at night and I think we need lights along those walkways.”
According to Carol Menard, project specialist, PCSW also collaborated with the division of student affairs to create a family study area in the library. The commission also led efforts to incorporate lactation stations all over campus.
Currently, PCSW is working on an outreach campaign to make their presence known on campus.
“It’s pretty shocking to find out that you’ve never even heard of a group that’s directly influencing women’s presence on campus,” said second year English student Evelyn Romero.