Moving from one office to another on Pacific University’s campus often means a shift in the work one does. But for Kathleen Converse, moving from Pacific’s former Campus Wellness office to the head of its Center for Gender Equity (CGE) — formerly led by Martha Rampton — the shift has been small.
“I’m still doing a lot of the work I was doing,” Converse said. “I’m mostly really excited — this work has never been more important.”
Converse’s CGE focuses on six areas of equity: women’s empowerment, healthy masculinity, LGBTQ+ issues, interpersonal violence, reproductive rights and positive body image. Three of the six already have regular events associated with them.
CGE will run a feminist lunch group, a men’s group exploring healthy masculinity and an LGBTQ+ affinity group exclusive to members of the community for their respective equity areas. The LGBTQ+ group is being run in addition to Spectrum Outreach, a group for LGBTQ+ students and allies run by CGE.
“Sometimes, it can be helpful to just be in a space where you’re with other people who hold that marginalized identity,” said Converse. “You can talk more about how [that identity] is impacting you.”
CGE is opening room 328A in Clark Hall to hold these events and to exist as a safe space for students.
The room is currently being renovated, but Converse says she plans to hold an open house for the room Friday, Oct. 4.
CGE’s work surrounding interpersonal violence is also expanding. This year, RAs and Voyage leaders have been trained as to how to reach out regarding interpersonal violence, Converse said. They are joined by the Interpersonal Violence Advocacy Network, a group of faculty and staff trained to support students who are victims of interpersonal violence.
CGE has also partnered with Oregon’s Sexual Assault Resource Center — students may call their help line at (503)-640-5311 and request an advocate from the organization 24 hours a day, Converse said.
“We really want to create confidential, free spaces for survivors to come forward, and we have lots of ways to do that,” Converse said.
Some of Campus Wellness’ previous programs have been moved to other groups on campus, and some moved to CGE.
Campus Wellness’ focus on interpersonal violence is staying under the CGE banner.
Converse’s CGE will also still train Peer Coordinators, who will continue to run the Sex and Pizza workshops for new students.
Training on drugs and alcohol has been divided between Residence Life and the Student Counseling Center, according to Converse—RAs will be running more general programming and the Counseling Center will be responsible for one-on-one intervention.
Their stress-related events, such as Puppies on the Patio, will not be run by the Counseling Center, Undergraduate Student Senate, and ACE Board.
“Really, everything has just been restructured,” Converse said.
New dining service makes debut
New pizza ovens. Seasonal menus. Fresh foods. Bon Appetit has brought in a whirlwind of change to Pacific University’s dining services.
From completely renovating the cafeteria, to bringing in new cooking technologies, the staff for Pacific’s new dining service have spent the summer preparing the Pacific Cafe for the start of fall term.
Rather than having a recycled rotation of recipes, the chefs at Bon Appetit write their own menus. Every day, meals are cooked from scratch. General Manager for Bon Appetit Ethan Davidson is excited for students to experience the dining service’s food.
“No day will have the same menu twice,” Davidson said. Recipes might show up again here and there, yet no day will have the same menu twice.
Another difference is that Bon Appetit’s food is fresh, local and seasonal. Even their new Evo station — a vent-less cooking station — is from Tualatin. Whether it be stir fries, pastas, or meat, the station allows food to be cooked out in front of everyone. Food is cooked to preserve flavor and nutrition, and the cafeteria offers a wider array of vegetarian and vegan options.
Not only is the food different, but the design of cafeteria has changed as well. Before renovation, red and orange panels enclosed the cafeteria, yet Davidson specifically wanted to strip the panels to open up the cafeteria. Now, the panels are clear glass.
“The staff has put so much energy and effort into renovation,” he said. “It’s important to me that people see the changes.”
Even the layout of the cafeteria is created to be modern and functional. Stations such as soup and salad have moved to create an easier flow of traffic for students.
Along with changes to the cafeteria, the Grove Market — once known as the P.O.D. — has been renovated for a more modern look. With fresher, natural foods, the style of products is different and grab-and-go food is made in house and sold at the market.
At the time this article was written, hours for the cafeteria are still being discussed as they will differ from Aramark’s hours. However, students can visit Bon Appetit’s website at pacificu.cafebonappetit.com/ for the most updated hours or if they have any suggestions.