About Us

Statement of Purpose

In support of the Division of Student Affairs' Mission, the Women's Commons invites students to find voice, develop skills for transformation and understand who they are called to be.

Vision Statement

  • The USD Women's Commons empowers students to engage as leaders in a diverse and changing world.
  • We are a student-centered learning community that provides resources and engages all students in educational dialogue around gender-related issues.
  • We advocate for a safe, supportive campus environment that creates equity among all voices.

How We Engage Community

We strive to provide and model an alternative form of operating in the Commons. With this in mind, staff and volunteers do not hold specific positions. Rather, we collaborate around core themes to guide us toward our vision.

  • Social Justice - With Catholic Social Thought as a foundation, we advance social justice principles and provide a range of experiential opportunities through involvement in campus, local and global actions aimed at improving the lives of women.
  • Community - We create opportunities for students to explore their multiple identities (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, class) through a feminist lens.We encourage the development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills in an effort to build community amongst women at campus, local, and global levels.
  • Leadership Development - We create opportunities for students to explore the role of empowerment within leadership and how gender enhances their role as leaders within the communities of which they are a part.
  • Education - In partnership with faculty, staff and students, we provide educational opportunities that raise awareness and engage the community in dialogue around the historical, institutional, and structural oppression of women, as well as celebrate their accomplishments and advancements toward equality. Programs highlight the ways in which gender bias intersects with racism, classism, and homophobia, and provide instruction and opportunity for action.
  • Health and Wellness - In collaboration with various campus departments, we raise awareness and provide information and referrals about issues disproportionately impacting women, (such as disordered eating, sexual assault, relationship violence, pregnancy and parenting, and body image). We work with students, faculty and staff to address these issues at both individual and community levels.
  • Safety - We continually assess the campus climate for women and other constituents and advocate for their physical, emotional, and mental safety. We engage in activities and practices that create safety, respect, and trust.