Women veterans honored at City College

Students chat and eat lunch at the Women’s Resource Center in Smith Hall during the discussion forum honoring women veterans and celebrating women’s study majors, on Mar. 21, 2012 at the City College Ocean Campus. Shane Menez/The Guardsman

By Tim Johnson

news@theguardsman.com / @sfbreakingnews

Special to The Guardsman

The Women’s Resource Center at Ocean campus held an open house on March 21, honoring women veterans and Women’s Studies majors alike in a manner both accepting and informative.

The biannual event, organized by Gaby Herrera and Windy Jara, kicked off with an introduction to a diverse staff who talked about the various services regularly provided by the center, including tea and healthy snacks served daily, free access to computers, phones and feminine products, and a wall of relatable literature.

The staff also provides support and information about finding counselors and housing, and are available to all students Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After the introductions, food and drink were served to a room full of attendees. Talk of the usefulness of the center moved openly around the room.

City College student Kathy Fabognano has been utilizing the services of the center for a while.

“It’s a nice place to come and use the computers,” said Fabognano, “or grab a snack if you missed breakfast.”

As the food and conversation dwindled, we were introduced to our first speaker, Sophia De Anza, an American Indian transgender veteran, who told a story about her experience in the service.
Known back then as Juan, De Anza said she enlisted in 1980 and spent time serving in the guard towers at Guantanamo Bay, where she struggled not only with feelings about her gender but also had to deal with being a victim of rape while on base. De Anza said she was locked in a holding cell after suffering a breakdown.

Flyers were then handed out regarding information on getting an Associate’s degree in Women’s Studies, a two year program focusing on women’s experiences from a feminist perspective.

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