Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
On Monday, the Centre for Women’s studies at Brock celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The Centre was established in memory of the 14 women, engineering students whose lives were taken at École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. A memorial service to mark the tragedy was held in Sankey Chamber at 5:30 p.m.
After the commemoration, Brock’s Centre for Women’s Studies hosted a panel discussion about the creation of the Centre and the importance of women’s studies in the aftermath of the events that took place in December 1989.
Founders, past directors and individuals who were instrumental in establishing the women’s studies program at the university were on hand for Monday’s service and panel.
“The academic women behind the creation of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Brock were feminists who thought that a program examining questions of gender relations and patterns of gender and sexual oppression was needed,” says Christine Daigle, professor of Philosophy and current director of the Centre.
“We need to critically examine such questions. We must unveil violence when and where it happens,” adds Daigle. “We must speak up and refuse it. A critical analysis of such questions will strengthen our ‘no’ to violence.”
In 1989, women professors from all six faculties at Brock University as well as a number of librarians met to organize a program in women’s studies. Professor Mary Frances Richardson from the Department of Chemistry chaired the organizing committee.
Brock’s Senate approved the new program in December 1990 and the first students were admitted into the co-major program in September 1991.