A Glimmer of Hope for the Women of Bucknell · 27 July 2005

By Allison Kasic

Radical politics often fly under the radar at universities by disguising themselves as administrative offices or "resource centers." While Bucknell University is still host to a number of administrative offices dedicated to liberal pet causes, there may be some hope of reform of the worst offender: the Women's Resource Center, following the resignation of controversial director Molly Dragiewicz.

In the last four years there have been three different directors of the Women's Resource Center. Each change brought hope that the new director would bring balance to the center. But each time another left-wing feminist determined to maintain the center's status-quo of radical feminism was installed.

Current Bucknell students share my concern with the future of the center. Junior Dawn Meling says she is "hopeful that Bucknell will now have a Women's Resource Center which will reject the divisive agenda of its former director. However, given Bucknell's history of overtly partisan multicultural offices, and especially the Women's Resource Center, it is difficult to remain optimistic."

One needs to look no further than the WRC's programmatic offerings to see the partisanship of which Meling speaks. The WRC has funded a long line of liberal speakers including "diversity educator" Jane Elliott, pundit Susan Estrich, and Catharine MacKinnon (who has stated that male sexuality is "activated by violence against women"), but not one conservative. In fact, Dragiewicz's WRC would not even sponsor one for free.

When given the chance to co-sponsor renowned feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers with the Bucknell University Conservatives Club at no cost, Dragiewicz claimed that Sommers' work was not in line with the mission statement of the WRC. In other words, the WRC had no interest in sponsoring a conservative speaker and bringing political balance to their event series.

Often the WRC's programming has absolutely nothing to do with so-called "women's issues" - as long as an event is sufficiently liberal the WRC has been eager to sponsor. Last fall the WRC hosted a film series featuring Outfoxed, an anti-Fox News Channel film partially funded by Moveon.org. Another recent event was a colloquium on African American detective novels. To this day, the WRC has not provided an explanation as to how such events have anything to do with the women of Bucknell.

It is easy to see why so many Bucknell women feel excluded from the WRC, which caters only to left-wing tastes. "The WRC offers very little that I am interested in joining or participating in and provides no support for me as a woman at Bucknell," said senior Allison Pearsall.

Perhaps the most egregious of the WRC's offenses was sponsoring a bus trip to Washington, D.C., for a pro-abortion rally. Dawn Meling confronted the WRC leadership about their controversial event, asking for political balance. When Meling approached the director about sponsoring a trip to a pro-life event she was denied, and told it went against the center's mission.

Other students, including myself, have long pushed for the addition of pro-life links alongside the many pro-choice links hosted on the WRC website. Not surprisingly, the requests were quickly denied.

Sadly, the liberal-feminist bias seen at Bucknell is not an isolated incident. Carrie Lukas, the Director of Policy at the Independent Women's Forum and expert on feminism on college campuses, points out, "The injustices at Bucknell are part of a disturbing trend nationwide for blatant partisanship amongst women's resource centers and women's studies programs. Only students who subscribe to left-wing politics benefit from these centers and can earn the title of 'feminist.'"

Bucknell has a great opportunity to take a step toward political balance on campus. The new director of the Women's Resource Center has the opportunity to discard the bias of the past and create a program which benefits all women at Bucknell. Unless Bucknell can reform the Women's Resource Center and create a more welcoming, balanced office, its doors should be shut.

Allison Kasic, a 2005 graduate of Bucknell University, is a Regional Field Director in the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program in Arlington, Va.. She also serves on the Bucknell Conservatives Club's Alumni Board of Advisors.