This spring term four OSU Women’s Center staff members gathered for an oral history interview to reflect upon their experiences working at the center, and the video interview and transcript are available online!
The Women Center, established in 1973, has a mission to be an “open community of feminist leaders inspiring change through advocacy, support and education toward the growth and success of all” and values Inclusivity, Diversity, Collaboration, and Accountability. To learn more, check out the Women’s Center website.
Date: May 5, 2015
Location: Oregon State University’s Women’s Center
Interviewees: Amelia Allee, Shelby Baisden, Soreth Dahri, Nicthé Verdugo
Interviewer: Amelia Allee
The interview begins by introducing four staff members of Oregon State University’s women’s center–Amelia Allee, Shelby Baisden, Soreth Dahri, and Nicthé Verdugo. After discussing their backgrounds, majors, and positions at the women’s center, they discuss the challenges of their jobs. These challenges include white privilege and misunderstandings of feminism. They recommend sexual assault awareness and expanded definitions of feminism for future event topics. The interview then chronicles their ideas and advice for the future of the women’s center. For this, the interviewees recognize open mindedness, good and purposeful intentions, non-generalizations, and challenging barriers. On a more personal level, they describe several experiences in which their identities have caused them to have both negative and positive interactions. The interview ends with an acknowledgement of the family-like environment of the staff and of the center.
Amelia Allee: Amelia Allee grew up in Denver, but calls Portland, Oregon her home. Allee is 20 years old, and self-identifies as French, English, and Huron (a Native American Tribe). This is her first year at Oregon State University as a transfer student from Portland Community College. As a junior, she is majoring in public health with a focus in health management and policy. Allee is also working towards her certificate of food and culture and social justice. Previously a student advocate at PCC’s women’s center, Allee began working at OSU’s women’s center in 2014. She is currently a peer facilitator, but will soon become the leadership liaison.
Shelby Baisden: Shelby Baisden recognizes Gresham, Oregon as her hometown, but calls Portland and Corvallis her home. Baisden is 22, self-identifies as white, and is a senior at Oregon State University. She is studying human development and family sciences in the school of public health and human sciences. This is her first year working for the women’s center, although she had previously collaborated with the center. She serves as the communications representative.
Soreth Dahri: Soreth Dahri’s hometown is Karachi, Pakistan. She self-identifies as Muslim and Pakistani. She is 21 and in her second year at Oregon State University. She is majoring in finance in the college of business. Dahri is currently a peer facilitator at the women’s center, and this is her first year working for the center.
Nicthé Verdugo: While Nicthé Verdugo lives in Corvallis, Oregon, her hometown is Chandler, Arizona. Verdugo is 22, self-identifies as Chicana, and is a senior at Oregon State University. She is majoring in ethnic studies with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies within the college of liberal arts. This is Verdugo’s second year working at the women’s center. During her first year, she served as the program coordinator, creating and organizing events. Currently she is the leadership liaison. One of her duties is to serve as a mentor for the staff of the women’s center.