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Janet Nishihara, Beth Rietveld and Jo Anne Trow group oral history interview, March 6, 2018

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 Chris Petersen: Today is March 6, 2018, and we are in the Learning Innovation Center on the campus of Oregon State University. We are conducting a group interview, a women's panel, consisting of Janet Nishihara, Beth Rietveld, and Jo Anne Trow for the class OSU: "Women and Oral History: An Exploration of 150 Years." I am Chris Petersen. I'm here with my co-teacher, Tiah Edmunson-Morton, and 6 of our students from this class. It's an Honors College class (HC 407). So the way this will work is Tiah and I will ask the first three questions, and then we'll turn the interview over to the students. And the first question that I would ask of the panel is if you could please reflect on changes in rules and social-cultural expectations for women during your years of association with OSU. The university has shifted from an official policy of in loco parentis for much of its history to a far less formally restrictive environment for women today. What are your memories of how this shift came to pass and how expectations for women have changed over time? And perhaps it would be fitting to start with Jo Anne?


Jo Anne Trow: Thank you. When Chris gave us those questions, it made me think very clearly about what OSU was like when I came here 53 years ago, and it was different in terms of not only the numbers of students that were here but in terms of the expectations. There were no co-ed residences. Freshmen were all required to live on campus, or in cooperative houses, or in the fraternities and sororities. There were very strict expectations in terms of dress, in terms of having to be in your residence at a certain time. They were called closing hours. But for women only. I do not recall any particular dress restrictions for 00:02:00men except for more formal occasions. But you were not allowed, or expected to wear, slacks or pants on campus. If you did have some occasion to go to a physical ed [education] class and you wanted to wear slacks or shorts, you had to wear a coat over it [chuckles from those in the room]. So this is what it was like when I came to the campus in 1965.

But it was obvious that throughout the country there was change coming about. And one of the reasons that I was hired here by the Dean of Students was that he had some expectations in terms of trying to give more responsibilities to students for their own lives. The team of people who were working in Student Affairs at that time--a new director of housing, a new director of student 00:03:00activities, and myself and the existing Dean of Men--began to think about how we could work with students to bring about more responsibility on the students themselves rather than having the expectations imposed upon them. Gradually over the next 5 or 6 years what happened was through working with what was then called the Associate of Women Students (it was a student government organization) and with the Panel on Cooperative Counsel with the women students we worked out a plan where gradually students would not have closing hours anymore. They were given keys, access to the residence. Actually, it was a card key operation.

But we did this gradually rather than starting all of a sudden because there was 00:04:00not a lot of support for this off the campus. I spent quite a bit of time going to Portland and talking to groups of parents about what was going on, because they were concerned about the fact that we were not going to, that we were giving more responsibility to the students to make decisions for themselves about how they were going to run their lives. But we started gradually, first with seniors at a certain grade point average. Next year we worked onto juniors, and eventually it was all of the students. It was that time, too, that we also began to institute co-ed residence halls, and I think we were the first campus in the state to have co-ed residence halls. Again, the people who were working in housing at the time--we were all part of a team)--we worked with the students themselves so that the students understood what the expectations were and were 00:05:00willing to go along with this.

It was interesting. There were some students that really were a little hesitant to take this kind of responsibility. They thought, well, it was a way that gave them an excuse sometimes to come in at night when they were in an uncomfortable situation. But eventually it seemed to be something that would really work pretty well. At the same time, there was a lot beginning to happen in the early '70s then as we moved on into things that were happening nationally. Drug use was increasing. There was drug use on campus. You could walk down the halls in some of the residence halls and smell marijuana. We knew this, but, again, we worked with student organizations in terms of how to control this. The campus 00:06:00itself I think gradually began to understand why we did this and why it was they were a part of it. Now Janet and Beth was probably a part of this in their own undergraduate experience in another institution as this began to change. Janet was here in the '70s and '80s after a long... But in the beginning it was something that wasn't always accepted. But the students--I think by involving the student organizations and the students themselves as we developed the whole program, it worked out pretty well. I can talk more about some of the things that happened later on, but that was the beginning of what was known as in loco parentis, and was the way in which the campus really tried to move into a 00:07:00philosophy that gave students responsibilities for their own lives and for making decisions about what they were going to do.

Beth Rietveld: As Jo Anne was talking I remember the beginning of my college days at the University of Illinois. The year before I started there in '71 there was a curfew for women. Not for men, but just for women. When I started they did away with the curfew, which was really interesting. I came to Oregon State in '79, and my first job was in recreational sports and I was the Assistant Director of Dixon Recreation Center. I was working in an environment that women and men worked out at Dixon, but still it was a male-dominated field, especially in the administration of recreational sports. I had to figure out as a 00:08:00professional how to negotiate the dominance of men who really didn't value in many ways the viewpoint of women. There were things like being sexually harassed. That was one of the things I experienced in almost every job and as a graduate student, I experienced throughout my early life. We didn't talk about things like that. It wasn't really open until Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas came out. That was sort of the beginning of legitimizing talking about sexual harassment. Same thing with sexual assault and domestic violence. It wasn't until really the '80s that support services and resources for students became an issue on campus, or an issue that we were actually dealing with openly.


So I did see a lot of changes from the time I came in '79. The '90s were sort of the time when a lot of things started developing on the campus. Support services for students, more programs, and openness about some of the issues that affected women and men students. I'll get more into that when we get into more about the Women's Center. I did see a lot of changes from going from silence to being able to talk about things. I see that happening today with the issues around sexual harassment and sexual violence in all aspects of politics and movies and all of that.

Janet Nishihara: I started here as an undergraduate student in 1974, which seems like a couple of lifetimes ago. So it was right after we got co-ed dorms, then.


Because I moved into Finley and it was co-ed. I remember my parents being completely mortified, but I took every advantage of being a first-gen [generation] student and just told my parents that's the way everyone does it, and I had no idea [laughter in the room]. So I did a lot of that. They didn't know, so they didn't ask me any questions. So I made up a lot of stuff, I think. But I do remember that I think at some point there was a lot of feeling of trying to take care of women more on campus in some ways. And also with that was positive or a negative. A lot of my understanding of how OSU works is tied up between being a woman and also being a person of color. So a lot of that stuff, it's all mixed in together. So there's times when things would happen and I didn't know why things happened that way. But I do remember in the early '80s when I came back as a graduate student, to me--and I was going to ask Jo Anne about this--the clear message I got was if you weren't wearing a dress you better not try to head to the sixth floor of the administration building, because there was just-- I don't know if that was a policy or it was my boss' policy.


JAT: That was something that took, well, it took about 6 months when the women who were working in the administration building decided that we didn't really need to wear a dress to work. That was the era of pantsuits. You know, Hillary wasn't the only one that wore a pant suit [laughter in the room]. It was really interesting, because the men were the ones who just couldn't understand why this was so important. This was true in the colleges and Home Economics. The Dean of Home Economics College, a school at the time, was adamantly opposed to women who did not--the faculty had to wear a dress. They fought the same battles that we did at the administration. We finally got approval, so to speak, so what we were 00:12:00able to do was to wear a coordinated pant suit. Blue jeans, my gosh, that was just impossible [laughter in the room]. Maybe if you're going to a picnic someplace out in Avery Park. But, again, it was just fighting the attitudes on this. But that's true, Janet.

JN: Okay. I never knew if it was just my boss telling me not to go on the sixth floor, or if that was really true. Yeah. I remember hearing that from other people, so. I had just started when I left undergraduate I went and taught high school for a few years. When I was interviewing in that process what struck me, because one of the interviews I went on the principal of the little school I was interviewing at he said, "So you didn't think this was important enough to wear a dress?" I was like, "Excuse me?" And he said, "Well, you know we want all of our teachers to wear dresses." I knew I didn't have the job, right? So my 00:13:00response was, "Even the men?" [Laughter in the room] I did not get that job because I was too much of a big mouth. And he said, "Yeah, well, men have to wear nice shirts and women have to wear a dress, hose, and high heels." I thought, I don't know how to teach in high heels. I've never worn high heels. The time was still the same. There wasn't as much segregation on campus, I think, but there was still a lot of different expectations that were just sort of built into people. It was hard to get them to question all that stuff.

JAT: There were a lot of social expectations too in terms of the kinds of social interactions. They were more formalized, the formal dances. I used to in the spring and the fall I would spend every Sunday afternoon dressed up with a hat and gloves and going around to the various smaller living groups and sororities and cooperative houses--to teas--where you would have an opportunity to visit with the other house mothers from the other sororities who would come with a 00:14:00student that accompanied them. Again, everybody all dressed up and you had a cup of tea and a cookie and then you went on to the next house and it was--. But, again, this was the expectation of learning how to function in the society at the time. But actually things were changing pretty rapidly. Just like the time about the third year I was here, this would have still been in the late '60s because I remember I was still in the office at Bexell Hall, a student had made an appointment to--

JN: Wait, that was before admin--Kerr--was built?

JAT: Oh, yeah.

JN: Okay.

JAT: The President's office--the President, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of Administration, and the Dean of Students (the Dean of Men, the Dean of Women)--we were all there on the first floor of Bexell. Looked out on a nice cherry tree. It was really very nice. A woman student had made an appointment to see me. I was a woman student I had never met, and she came in. We visited, she 00:15:00said, "I just wanted to tell you I'm getting married in May." I thought, I said, "Well, best wishes. That's very nice." Finally, it turned out that she had to come and get permission.

JN: Wow [giggles in the room].

JAT: The problem is there are a lot of myths that got tied up with what the expectations were. The Dean, whether it was the Dean of Men or the Dean of Women at the time, in terms of what you thought. Well, I got rid of that expectation pretty quickly [laughter]. But, again, it was a lot of it was tied--and I'm sure maybe at some point if a woman student was planning to be married in the middle of the term, or in the middle of the year, she was expected to let somebody know because she would be disappearing from the living group, and this would not 00:16:00be--but the concept that women needed to be protected was just around there. I frequently would say in meetings, "If you're so concerned about the women being protected maybe what needs to be done is the men need to have the closing hours rather than the women" [giggles in the room]. Of course that didn't happen [laughter in the room]. Also I began to see some changes. Well, this goes over more into the next question, I guess--I'll talk about some academic expectations that were--

CP: Okay.

Tiah Edmunson-Morton: So the next question is about the implementation and impact of Title IX not just in the context of athletics, which I think we so closely associate it with now, but also in the ways that it opened up doors for 00:17:00women academically and socially.

JAT: Yeah. Well, when Title IX was enacted, and, by the way, one of the persons who was most responsible in congress for Title IX was a congresswoman Edith Green (that would be the congresswoman from Oregon). One of the buildings in Portland, one of the federal buildings, is named for her. When it was enacted I remember saying to President MacVicar (because he was all concerned about what was going to happen with athletics), and in a meeting I remember saying this is going to affect a lot more than just athletics. Because what happened was a lot of the, in terms of student activities for instance, there were a lot of single-sex organizations. The honor societies were all gender-specific. Many of 00:18:00the social groups were gender-specific. Fraternities and sororities had to get a special dispensation to be able to maintain their single-sex orientation in terms of who could belong to a female or a male Greek group. There were two organizations--Mortar Board and Blue Key--which were senior honor societies at the time (Mortar Board was for women, Blue Key was for men). It took--and nationally the groups said, "Okay, we're going to become for both men and women, but the local groups, some of the women really had a hard time with this, because they saw the opportunities that they had in a single-sex organization, with just women, to develop some leadership responsibilities and some leadership 00:19:00qualities that they might not have if they were in a group where they felt they would be dominated by the men and where they thought the men would be the people who would basically call the shots. It was a year-long process in terms of working with that group and a couple of other groups. It was some of the other honor societies that had been single-sex. But the nationals had recognized that if you want to maintain what's going on with your viability then you were going to have to change. But in the long run what appeared to happen was that many of the groups that had been mainly women organizations were the ones that thrived, and they were both men and women. One of the things we tried to do is we worked in activities and with student government groups was to give women some tools in 00:20:00order to help them be responsible leaders and to assume leadership positions.

It wasn't too long after Title IX that the first woman was elected to ASOSU [Associated Students of Oregon State University] presidency. That was before there were co-presidents. But one of the things too in terms of academically was that began to change. This week's Baro [Barometer] that came out, I was looking at it this morning. It comes in our local newspaper. I was looking at this morning [paper shuffling], and in it was an academic unit by sex, and they did just binary--men and women--and talked about how many men and women were in sciences, business, and engineering. One of the things that was particularly interesting to me was the forestry--341 women and 543 men. One of the first 00:21:00encounters I had here was with the Dean of the School of Forestry who informed me that I'd never have to worry about any women in the College of Forestry because there were none and there would not be any [laughter in the room]. This was an attitude of many of the faculty that the women just either weren't interested, they weren't capable, and I frankly think a lot of it was they didn't quite know how to handle women. Right now there are more women in Ag Sciences then there are men--almost 1,300 as opposed to 800 plus.

Back then there were just few women in it, very, very few women and I mean maybe 3 or 4 in engineering. Many of you are in sciences. There were women in science but not anywhere near to the extent that they are now. It was not until we began to get some of the academic deans in the '80s who recognized the importance of 00:22:00having some role models and began to hire women faculty who served as role models--who were the professors and researchers--that more women began to see this as a possible career. But many times what happened with women who came early on--the '40s, the '50s, and the '60s--who came here with their husbands, often they had met in graduate school or had similar interests, the husband was hired but the woman was not. Sometimes she could become a research assistant, a research associate, but sometimes she chose another career.

I have a friend who came her, her husband was hired in the chemistry department. She was a very fine chemist, in fact had been doing more research than he had. She couldn't get a job, so she has had a very successful accounting business 00:23:00here in town and worked very well in that. But that happened. That rarely would happen now, because there are often women who are hired to become in the same department. In fact, when I came here I came as a single person. I met my husband who teaches in history here. We were married about 4 or 5 years after we came here. The Dean of Faculty called me--this is when we were still in Bexell Hall, called me down the hall and said, "Here I want you to sign this." It was a note that Cliff and I were both expected to sign saying that if we ever became in a position where we were responsible for each other in a professional way in the department one of us would resign. You couldn't even think of doing this by the time you got to the '80s. But this was typical. And nepotism was something 00:24:00you just didn't tolerate, and it particularly affected women who were professional who were academics in many ways. But Title IX really did I think affect through activities and through a recognition that women needed to have--it was used as a tool when you tried to make a point to get women more recognition or women into positions where they would have more responsibility or where they wanted to be academically. You probably experienced some Title IX.

BR: I experienced a little bit. Title IX happened when I was in college, and most the faculty members, both in my undergraduate and graduate work, were all men. So I had very few women role models. I know that, as Jo Anne said, very few 00:25:00women in certain fields, and one of the things that became more important was raising the profile of women that had succeeded in science or that had succeeded in engineering so it was really to try to encourage people to go into those fields. Same thing with woman administrators. I think Jo Anne was the only women administrator for a long, long time. Mimi Orzech was another leader--

JAT: Betty Hawthorne in Home Ec [Economics] and Charlie [Charlotte] Lambert and some other women in PE [Physical Education]--the typical women's fields: Home economics, women's PE, they appointed women administrators. And I came as the Dean of Women, that was--but then we did away with the title in about 1969 and we had deans, assistant associates, and assistant deans of students, so--

BR: One of the other things that happened, and this was in the '80s, so it wasn't close to Title IX, but we formed, and Jo Anne has a lot to do with this, 00:26:00we formed a group called the Faculty Women's Network. The purpose was to allow women faculty to come together and talk about issues that were happening in their lives to try to come together to solve problems or to address some of the issues that we were facing. Some of them were childcare on campus, childcare for faculty members, or family leave when you have to take care of an elder parent, or a child with special needs. We also talked about things like sexual harassment that were barriers to moving up in faculty positions.

We found that pulling women together often helped our voice be heard. Faculty Women's Network was one of those groups. President's Commission on the Status of Women started in '73, same year as Title IX. The Women's Center started at the 00:27:00same time. So in 1973 Roe v. Wade, Ms. Magazine-- '73 was a really important year in history. And it takes a while. Things don't happen by 1974. You've got to watch over time. But it was real important to see all of the things that happened in 1973. It was really--especially on this campus. I've looked at other campuses in terms of doing some research, and OSU was ahead of the bar in so many ways with the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Women's Center happening in 1973. Women's Centers didn't exist nationally. There were maybe 5 or 6 Women's Centers in the country by 1973, so we were ahead of the 00:28:00game in a lot of ways.

JAT: Well, often about in this time too there came to be more focus on issues surrounding people of color.

BR: Well, Civil Rights.

JAT: With the Civil Rights issues that had come along and the establishment of the first cultural center was the Black Cultural Center.

JN: Early '70s, yeah.

JAT: What?

JN: Early '70s, right?

JAT: Yeah. But the group was called the Chi--it was in the basement of Milam Hall, the Chicano Group met down there.

JN: Oh yeah, yeah.

JAT: But this was also something that you needed to begin to deal with because there had been very few people of color on the campus up until then.

JN: You know I think my view of Oregon State was different, because I worked for Mimi, she was my first boss on campus, so I just thought there were a lot of 00:29:00women who worked-- and I knew Dr. Trow because of student affairs and because of the CSSA program. So I think I made the assumption that there were a lot of women out there doing good stuff and running programs and stuff. But now when I look back I think, aw maybe not so much [laughter in the room]. So I think I have a skewed view of things in some ways. I worked for the Education Opportunities Program and our director was Mimi Orzech and she was there for quite a while. In fact we were looking at--so the program started in '69 and we've only had four directors, which is unusual, because Mimi was there for quite a while.

JAT: Well there was Lonny, and Larry, Mimi, and then Larry and then me.

JN: [Talking with JAT] Yeah, Mimi, Larry, and then me, yeah, so-- I don't know. Title IX happened before I got there, and I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to stuff. I think so. It may have affected us more in our program in terms of athletics in some ways just because we worked a lot with the student 00:30:00athletes, and there were more women to work with after that point and more women of color.

And there is still, I think especially among students and among faculty too, there's a dearth of women of color, especially amongst the student groups. I still talk to African American women students on campus and people are like, "Wow you're the only one I've ever met." I was like, "Well how can that be on a campus of this size that you've never really met a black woman student [trails off]--" something's wrong. How many of you have had a black professor? Some of you are freshman, so that's different, but-- How many of you have ever had a black professor? It would not surprise me if you graduated from Oregon State and you don't have a black professor.

JAT: There used to be a black professor in biochemistry, but he's retired long ago.

JN: Yep, yep. He was great. Mentored a lot of students. So I think--so how many of you have had a woman professor? I counted two [laughter]. So, okay. So 00:31:00there's advances. I saw one hand not go up, right?

JAT: She's a freshman, yeah.

JN: Oh, you're a freshman, okay.

TEM: So I'm your first [laughter].

JN: So there's advances in getting women in different fields and engineering and the sciences and things like that, and not just where they were before in Home Ec and those areas.

JAT: But I think people recognize that this is still an issue, particularly in the sciences, because I see the OSU today and regularly in talks about the groups of women faculty and professionals in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] fields who are meeting and trying to draw students in to get them involved, to understand where the possibilities are, to support them, to give them research opportunities--so the problem hasn't been solved by any means.

TEM: I have a quick follow-up question, so you two were in high school, though, when Title IX came in?

BR: I was in college.


JN: I was in high school, yeah. In '73? Yeah.

TEM: Was there talk about Title IX in high school?

JN: I grew up in Eastern Oregon, so we were only allowed to wear pants our senior year in high school. That's how far behind we were, we [BR talks at the same time].

BR: Yeah, we couldn't wear jeans in high school.

JN: So, I mean a huge change. I just figured it was a college thing. All of a sudden life was really different in college, I think.

BR: In '73 when I was in college we were totally focused on the Vietnam War, so it was a real different way of activism. I don't think I paid too much attention until later.

JAT: I think in student affairs in general that we were really concerned about the Vietnam War and the impact that it was having on campuses. Oregon State had its share of demonstrations and things that were going on with the war--the 00:33:00march that went downtown and sat in the middle of the intersection by the courthouse and stopped all the traffic, and the smoke bomb that was thrown into the MU ballroom with the anti-military for the military ball was going on. Then a group held an anti-military ball. But one of the things that we tried to do in student affairs was to support the issues in positive ways. When the student was shot on the Kent State Campus and that caused--it was a terrible thing, and the campus was very upset about it. At the time we had an acting president, and he and the Dean of Students and the other student affairs people was we got 00:34:00together. What we decided to do was to keep the MU open all night and have opportunities for people to watch--that was when you could see some television of what was going on with some things. And there were some speakers and they provided food and gave an opportunity for the students who had really had feelings about this to talk about them and to say what they thought was important. I think it kept us from having a lot of riots because we tried to just provide places for this sort of stuff to vent. But the war did take its toll here, certainly, in terms of the--and at the same time this was when the drug issues were becoming more of a--the hippies retreating to the woods, and I--parents would come and want to know why their daughter had gone off with this 00:35:00man, and those were things you can't explain adequately to a parent [laughter in the room]. But they want you to. But the Women's Center I think has had a very significant impact on this campus and it started in a very peculiar way.


TEM: Which leads to the next question.

CP: That's our final question [laughter in the room]. Want to talk about how that happened, how it started, and then how it evolved?

BR: Well, Jo Anne, you were very much involved at the very beginning. I actually had done a lot of research, and I just want to tell you about the actual building. There were three groups--this was something I found from a Barometer article in 1973. Three groups vied for the space in the old paleontology lab, which is what it used to be: the art student union, Horner museum, and the 00:36:00Women's Study Center. Art students wanted gallery space. Horner museum wanted a museum annex. Women's Studies was told they could stay until June 15th. At that time they were going to tear the building down. Well, as you know the building has not been torn down [laughter in the room]. So, I'm going to let Jo Anne talk about the very beginning, because she was one of the three women that were very instrumental, along with Margaret Lumpkin and Jeanne Dost.

JAT: Well, the Women's Center started because a woman faculty member in economics was unhappy with some of the assignments she had been given, and there were some issues that arose. The resolution was that they said, "Okay, here's this space," and by the way also at one time in the long distance past had been a health center, and all sorts of other things in that building.

BR: A book store.

JAT: A book store. But what was they thought, said, "You could just develop and 00:37:00teach some courses in the kind of economics and the things that you would be interested in, and so Jeanne took off and decided she would initiate and teach some Women's Studies courses. There were a group of other women, this was Margaret Lumpkin and some other people in education and psychology and myself and a couple of people in Home Ec, we supported what she was doing. This became a place then that women would gather, not only from campus but from the community, to talk about issues and from this then began to develop programs. We managed to get a budget. For a while it was under the auspices of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and then it was under the Dean of Students area, and we 00:38:00began to staff it. Eventually, then, what happened was Women's Studies became an academic area in and of itself that still was focused on the women in that building, but then the Women's Center became a program that did activities and made presentations, and took stands and did fairly--and it was staffed by graduate students for a long time. You were the first full-time person, weren't you? [Talking to Beth].

BR: I made a list of programs that were offered in 1974 at the Women's Center: Sexism and Racism in Grade School Texts, Women in U.S. History, Sexism and Racism: Parallelisms and Contrasts, a Black Woman Looks at the Women's Movement, 00:39:00Women in Prison, Women in Athletics, Women in Religion, Legal Barriers to Obtaining an Abortion in Oregon and in the U.S., Women in National Politics, Current Legislation and Lobbying for Women in Oregon, and Women in the Economy. We could have all of those programs today. There is nothing there that we couldn't have now. So it was very relevant for the time, and I think about how the Women's Center started. A lot of it was a form of activism. One of the things that I really encouraged was activism, always. I asked students, or I would teach students, to challenge authority. A lot of people didn't like what I had to say. I was a university administrator, and I admit that there were times when I really encouraged, and I didn't always want to know what students were doing, but I encouraged students to challenge authority.


I think it's important. I think it's important to rock the boat sometimes. I think a lot of what we have on campus today would not have happened if it wasn't for activism of students. I would give them a space to meet. I would give them opportunities to put on programs that had to do with things that they wanted to see changed. The Ethnic Studies Program came about because of student activism. Certainly there were faculty that were very instrumental as well, but they held meetings at the Women's Center trying to gather together people to form an Ethnic Studies Program. The Pride Center on campus probably would not have happened at that time, at the time that it first occurred, if it wasn't for the Women's Center, because we allowed space within the Women's Center to form a Queer Resource Center, is what it was called at first, and it took about 3 years for them to get the funding in order to have their own facility, their own building.


Sexual assault support services in the Counseling Center did not exist, and students would come to the Women's Center who had been sexually assaulted, and our student staff were not adequately prepared. We were not counselors, we were not-- but we were really educated, and one of the things that I did was make sure the students knew what resources were available on campus. We would walk students over to counseling or to student health. We would make phone calls to the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence. So we were providing the entre to the places that students could gain support. But we needed to have a student staff that was really highly educated in where all of these resources were: sexual harassment education, sex education. I have to say in going from my early days at OSU to when I retired in 2012, at first we were doing programs about 00:42:00birth control and in the end we're doing programs about orgasms. That probably -- the most popular program we did at the Women's Center was an orgasm program for women only. And we got criticized for doing a program for women only because, you know, of course men pay their student fees as well, and Lars Larson was a conservative talk show host. He was saying, "You know the state is funding these programs on how women can have orgasms," and it was a big deal. But we had 115 people packed into the Women's Center, and it was one of the most educational programs. And we followed up with a program on orgasm for men, just because they were protesting. And it was very, very professionally done. It was a good program.

We were providing information about gender identity. We did a modern sex 00:43:00conference where we needed to talk about transgender issues and the wide range of things related to sex. So I see we really changed a lot from the early days to the later days where we were taking on-- we always took on controversial topics. There was nothing that we did, well, we probably did a few things that weren't controversial. Student activism changed some of the things that happened in athletics. There was a student athlete who came out as lesbian, and the athletic department wanted her to keep her identity quiet because it would hurt recruitment. She came to the Women's Center and she said, "But this is who I am and I need to be who I am." A small group of students formed, and they were called the "Lesbian Avengers," and they put up a big banner at one of the women's basketball games. They passed out lollipops that said, "Help Us Lick Homophobia." The Athletic Department was really angry about all of this. I 00:44:00stayed in the background. I knew what was going to happen, but I didn't stop it because I thought it was something--and it did change things in the Athletic Department. Marianne Vydra, who was in the Athletic Department as an academic advisor at the time, and she is now a Senior Women Administrator, she helped change the culture within athletics. I could go on and on about activism, but that was one of the things that was really important to me.

One of the other things about the Women's Center, and this was important from my perspective as an educator, is to bring in as many outside speakers as we could to give students an opportunity to hear from national and international experts. I made a list just off the top of my head of speakers that we brought in to OSU: Ursula Le Guin, Barbara Ehrenreich who wrote Nickeled and Dimed, Winona LaDuke, 00:45:00Cecelia Fire Thunder, Vandana Shiva, Sarah Weddington, Bernice Sandler (Sarah Weddington was Roe v. Wade, she was the attorney), Bernice Sandler who was very involved in Title IX stuff, Jeanne Killburn who talked about women in advertising and how they're depicted in advertising, Nikki Giovanni who is--she was amazing, Tayyibah Taylor who was editor of Aziza Magazine (she was a Muslim woman), Kate Bornstein who is transgender (she is the author of Gender Outlaws), Gloria Anzaldúa, the Gorilla Girls, we brought in Betty Roberts who was the first woman in the U.S. Supreme Court, Sara Gelser--

JAT: No, Oregon Supreme Court. Not U.S. Supreme Court.

BR: Yeah, Oregon Supreme Court, you're right.

JAT: It'd be nice, but--

BR: Yeah, Sara Gelser who is still currently one of our Oregon Senators, and 00:46:00Darlene Hooley. We talked about politics. We'd bring in the League of Women Voters before an election so that students could have good information to be able to make informed choices when they went to the polls to vote. We had a modern sex conference. We had a program on homosexuality and the Bible--two ministers put on the program and it was attended by students who were very opposed to having a Pride Center and students who were very much in favor. I was afraid it could get contentious. It was really a good intellectual discussion and probably one of the best programs. We did a program on building confidence in our women students. Conference on "Gender and Culture: Voices from the Middle East," and we had Middle Eastern students talking about what they were experiencing in the U.S. and on campus. "Women's Roles in Religion: Breaking Up is Hard to Do." We did a feminist fair every may. We did the Vagina Monologues in conjunction with a lot of other departments on campus and the Women of 00:47:00Achievement Awards, which was one of the big things at the end of the year where we would celebrate women leaders. I'll stop. I could go on and on and on [laughs].

JN: I have a thought--did you have tenure Dr. Trow?

JAT: Yes.

JN: Okay.

JAT: But it was interesting how I got tenure.

JN: I was wondering, yeah.

JAT: Because one of the things that happens with administrators, and particularly with people in the Student Affairs here are what are called professional faculty. Basically you're on a year-to-year contract or a multi-year contract. But when I first came here in the mid-1960s people who had particular titles who were administrators were automatically given the rank of professor and tenure, so the director of housing, who had a bachelor's degree at the time, was tenured.


JN: I didn't know that.

JAT: There were a number of other administrators, the business manager and people like this. That was just done. It came with the title. So I came here as the Assistant Dean with the assumption that when the woman who was here as dean retired. So I became Dean and with it came tenure and professor. I was invited to dinner with my colleague in student affairs and people that I really liked, but he was just incensed [laughter in the room]. And he let me know at this dinner party that he was not happy with the way that the--it wasn't my choice. This just happens. I'm glad to have it, but it didn't--but that stopped, I'd say about the '70s it had gone out.

BR: I had a two-year renewable contract, and I had to go through a process similar to a tenure process.

JN: Okay. Because I think a lot of people figure that if you're faculty at 00:49:00Oregon State you have tenure, and you can't get fired for anything, but a lot of us could get fired.

BR: We could [laughs].

JN: --without notice.

BR: We could [laughs].

JAT: One of the things too that the women's group that started the Women's Center and that the Women's Center has also been helpful in supporting women faculty in terms of salary and tenure, because I don't know what the situation is now in terms of comparing women and men with similar backgrounds and similar research and teaching responsibilities as far as whether they've achieved tenure or how long it took them and also what their salaries are. I don't know whether that's equal or not, but it wasn't for a long time. So there were some studies that were done early on and the faculty of women's study group just doggedly kept after this and kept it. There was a system-wide lawsuit that came out on 00:50:00this whole issue of women's salaries and tenure, but that's a whole other story.

BR: And it's still not perfect [laughs].

JAT: Yeah.

CP: Okay. Now it's your chance, students in this class, to ask questions [laughter in the room].

TEM: Do you want to go first because you're sitting next to me? [Talking to student].

JN: Hot seat [laughter in the room].

Student 1: I guess for Janet--I read your interview.

JN: Oh, okay.

Student 1: And you mentioned, you were talking about Echo [School District] and your students made some ignorant remarks regarding your race.

JN: Oh, yeah.

S1: So I was wondering as a Japanese-American student did you ever feel that way at OSU?

JN: You know, it takes a while to get aware of life, sometimes, I think. I think both. There was, when I first came--I don't think I ever told Dr. Trow this--but when I first came to Oregon State there was some sort of survey they did of students of color (the term was minority students back then), and coming from 00:51:00the background that I came from I don't remember what I said my-- coming from a place where there were a lot of Japanese-Americans around. We didn't feel like minorities. At least I didn't. I came to Oregon State they handed me this survey to fill out. I gave it to my neighbor down the hall to fill out, a white student, and she filled it out and sent it in [laughter in the room]. Sometimes no. I think part of me too was like, Why are you asking? I don't know what it's like to be a minority on this campus. As a freshman I didn't know what it meant. But there were other things--it was, I don't know.

In the halls I think my freshman year it was a mixture of things. I got a little bit more than I was used to of, "Wow, your English is really good." I'm thinking, "Crap, I don't speak any other languages" [laughter in the room]. And I was an English major. Was it an insult? I wasn't sure. But sometimes I dealt more with issues of religion, because I'm not Christian, so there's this whole 00:52:00thing about--that's another issue on campus, I think. At one point, at least when I was an undergraduate student, it's like well everyone went to Campus Crusade and everyone went to this and everyone went to that, and those of us who weren't Christian or they decided not to be involved with that, it was like "Well, what is your problem?" I had a friend down the hall who was in Campus Crusade and she said, "You know I have 15 minutes until class--can you tell me about Buddhism?" I'm like [laughter in the room]. That's a 2,500-year-old religion. Where do you want me to start? [Laughter in the room] So there are some issues aside from gender and even aside from race that were all mixed up in my head too. It was a tough place to be a woman on campus I think at that point. It was still definitely seen as newcomers and this place isn't built for you. That kind of thing. Thanks.


Student 2: I have a question for all of you. After reflecting on your past experiences, do you currently see any room for growth in any specific areas at Oregon State?

[Soft chuckles]

JAT: I've tried to keep in touch with the campus, more or less, you know, come to events and had contacts with some of the administrators. I've been gone for a long time. I've been retired now for almost 23 years [chuckles in the room]--but I was here for 30, so. I think any institution always has room for growth. Just the best list of things-- I think it's indicative just reading the newspapers 00:54:00and reading what's going on on campus. Recently what's happened with this fella who was in the student government and the teaching assistant in chemistry who has the rather unusual ideas of people's abilities. There is always room for education and for helping people to understand these things. There are always issues that are going to come out: the sexual harassment, domestic violence, racial issues. Janet's description of what happened to her--our affirmative action officer for many years was a woman named Phyllis Lee and she would often say how many times she had been asked, "Where'd you come from?" She's Chinese-American. Well, "I come from Portland" [laughter in the room].


It's just that kind of attitude that I think probably, and maybe some of you experience these same kinds of things. A constant education because unfortunately I think there are still people who grow up in a very isolated situation where they don't, with all the media that there is and everything else that's going on in the world, they still don't understand that there is somebody other than themselves that's there that you need to look at it to understand who they are.

BR: And one of the things the Women's Center used to do is respond to things that are happening nationally and internationally. If there were, I remember when Matthew Shepard was killed in Wyoming. And we had a speak-out opportunity in the MU lounge where we had people come and talk about homophobia and some 00:56:00people talked from personal experience. Other people talked about how we need to be a welcoming campus. This was still in the early days of the Pride Center. We really were trying to give students an opportunity to speak. In today's world you'd have a speak-out about Me Too because that's a big issue. You could talk about the riots in Charlotte that happened last year. Racism is running rampant, and the Women's Center would pick out something that was happening, and we'd do a program around it, or we'd have a series, or we'd put on a conference around it. We haven't solved all of the issues. Additionally we have so many international students on campus right now. We need to keep alive what's happening in our world, because international women's issues have a long, long, long way to go. And we need to raise awareness of what's it's like to be a woman 00:57:00in another country.

JN: I forgot what the question was.

CP: Areas of growth for the university.

JN: Oh, yeah, there's so many. You know, this isn't an answer--

JAT: Yeah, you're here so you know.

JN: Yeah [laughter in the room]. There was a riot at Michigan State yesterday in response to Richard Spencer being there. Police in riot gear. We try to keep up on those things and there are groups on campus that are trying to talk about a response to how do we respond? What if somebody invites Richard Spencer to come to campus? He's caused chaos wherever he's gone, and how will OSU respond? I'm not at that level, but there's some, I know there's a lot of different groups working on trying to figure out some of this stuff. The tweeter, the tweet guy last week? Our office has been pushing pretty hard because we teach classes and our instruction was like, "We didn't know what we were supposed to do." So we're trying to push hard on the upper administration to say you need to give us something.


One of the groups I work with works to support undocumented students. And one of the things we've been asking for for quite a while and we finally got was some sort of statement from Legal Counsel office, because a lot of faculty have been asking us well what do I do if ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] shows up at my classroom door and is looking for students? We finally have an answer. So there's a statement that we have: "Oh, thank you for interest. You need to talk to Legal Counsel. They're in the administration building and here's their phone number." And not have to deal with. We're moving in some directions about giving some professors guidance sometime. We never thought, last year no one would have thought well what if the border patrol shows up at my office? No one would have thought that. But this year it's a possibility. A lot of it's adapting to things really quickly that happen, and a lot of it's the old stuff we just haven't fixed yet [laughter in the room].

Student 3: I have a question for all of you, too. So all of three of you became leaders on campus during times when women weren't necessarily allowed much 00:59:00power. What helped each of you overcome the sexism and inequalities you faced that have a lasting impression?

JAT: Well, I never thought I couldn't do it if I wanted to, I guess. In some ways I was fortunate in starting out in a professional career in academia where it was separated: women and men. I was in student affairs. You either worked with women students or you worked with men students. That was the way it was in college when I was there as well. I became confident in what I was doing, and then when I moved into the field as it became obvious that it was going to come together--it was going to be men and women students in student affairs and not separated--I just continued to do what I did and felt that if I performed my job 01:00:00well and if I sought out opportunities too. I did that in terms of trying to find something where I could make an impact and I tried to be a good role model.

Also one of the things I think helps you is if you're mentoring other people then that gives you the opportunity to say, "Look here's somebody else who can do these sorts of things." There were times that I was disappointed. You don't always get what you want, whether you're asking for-- but for the most part 01:01:00Oregon State treated me pretty well, and I thought I was able to make some contributions.

BR: I was one of those people that rocked the boat and I wasn't always looked at in a positive way by some of the people I worked with. But I also feel that it was important that somebody speak out, and of course student voices were always the strongest, and I encouraged students. I think if you listen to my interview you heard if I had to describe my job in one sentence I'd say I help students find their voice. And that was really important to me. There were things that needed to change on campus and whenever I had somebody's ear I would bring up those issues. We needed to have sexual assault support services. I probably talked about it in 20 or 30 meetings. I'd bring it up whenever I met with administrators. I constantly talked about it until it actually happened. I'm not 01:02:00sure it's because of that, but I kept the issue alive. I think often there are things that you just have to keep the issue on the table. You can't say, "Well, sexual assault doesn't really matter," or "We don't' have the funding, so we're not going to do anything." I kept insisting it's important enough that we have to find the funding. Partly because I knew how bad the issue was because people were coming to the Women's Center. So I never stopped rocking the boat. There are people who would say that I wasn't a team player, but sometimes you're not a team player. You have to rock the boat. I would encourage all of you to look for ways to find your voice and make that voice heard, even if it isn't the popular thing to do.

JN: Well I had good role models, and Dr. Trow was one of them. Kay Conrad, I got 01:03:00to know her really well and she was, was she Dean of Students for a while? I can't remember what her role was.

JAT: No, she was Director of Admissions.

JN: Ah, that's right, okay. So there was a lot of women on campus I got to know really well who I thought were on paths I might want to look at someday. That was really helpful. That and lately looking at the history actually makes a difference because things do change. It's hard to see as a student. You're here for 4 or 5 years or something it's hard to see, nothing ever changes at Oregon State. But after you've been here for a while, you realize, oh, there never used to be a Women's Center, there didn't used to be cultural centers, there didn't used to be so many women in different fields. They still have a long ways to go, but there didn't used to be-- it didn't used to be--vet med [veterinary medicine] didn't used to be mostly women. Those kinds of things, there's changes that do happen. I think that helping to put some perspective on it gives me energy to say, "Oh, so things can change."


TEM: So Janet's going to have to leave probably now.

JN: Yeah, probably [laughter in the room].

TEM: Do the three of you [students] have a question that's specific for Janet that you wanted to ask before she scoots?

JN: Okay.

TEM: Okay.

Student 4: Do you want to talk about the importance of having a diverse faculty, not just for the institution but also for the students to look up to?

JN: You know my question before about if you've ever had a black faculty? To me, that's a sin that you're going to get a really good education at a top-notch university and you haven't had any-- I would hate for students, Oregon State graduates to go out and meet a black professional and think, "I don't know what to do because I've never met anybody before." That's wrong. That's really wrong. So we do have a long ways to go on some of those areas. And faculty of 01:05:00color--there is a faculty of color organization and stuff that, you know, when the numbers come and they go. In a staff meeting this morning we said, you know, yes numbers have changed at Oregon State, but if EOP [Educational Opportunities Program] faculty are in one area and Ethnic Studies faculty are there together with them and the entire faculty that's the bulk of the faculty of color on campus, that's not right that we're still segregated to a certain extent. I like our staff. I think we have a great staff, and we can support a lot of different kinds of students. But that's still wrong. The university has done a lot over the years and so there are more faculty out there. But they tend also be isolated. So there's like one. Just like with women. There's one in this department. There's one in some sort of engineering, there's one. And that's hard. That's really hard to be the only person in that department. The message is that the friends that I have get, the women faculty friends that I have who are like the one, the message they get is you better act like a man or you're 01:06:00not going to get further in here. That's still, maybe it's not overt. But there's still a message out there.

BR: Even faculty of color who have come here find that Corvallis or the state of Oregon is not as supportive.

JN: Yeah, it's a hard place.

BR: They may stay one or two years and then leave.

JAT: Or else they'll go off and live someplace else and commute.

JN: Yeah. Half my friends live in Portland. It's like, "Hey you want to do something?" In Portland? I mean, I'm not going to drive to Portland for a Thursday night something. Yeah, I have African American friends who, unless they're careful, they get pulled over by police all the time.

JAT: Yeah.

JN: Which, yeah they have Ph.D.s; that doesn't stop you from getting pulled over by the police. Sorry to leave. This is really interesting. I'd rather stay here [laughter in the room].

TEM: You can listen to the last 20 minutes on the tape.

JN: Oh yes, I can. Yeah, yeah. Sure. Well, thanks for this opportunity.

CP: Thank you Janet.

TEM: Thank you for coming.

JAT: Good to see you, Janet.

JN: Yeah. I'll see you next meeting.


JAT: Yeah. I'll bring that picture if I find it.

JN: Oh, yes.

BR: It's good to see you.

JN: It's good to see you.

BR: This is good just to get the three of us together [laughter in the room].

JN: Thank you.

TEM: Bye.

Student 5: I have a question for you, Beth. So before people could go to the Women's Center about sexual harassment, how was that handled on campus? And how was it handled after that?

BR: Well, actually, the Women's Center did programs around education about sexual harassment, but we weren't the place that people would come who were sexually harassed because Affirmative Action had a director or eventually a staff of people who would meet with people who had a complaint. But the Women's Center was a place where we would do programs, because a lot of people don't recognize that they have been sexually harassed or they blame themselves: I wore 01:08:00the wrong thing or I behaved a certain way and I deserved what I got. For me it was personal because I had been propositioned by the head of my department in graduate school. I had been sexually harassed by my first three employers. That's not okay. But I also didn't have a strong voice. I was afraid of losing my job. I think until I realized how many other women had been sexually harassed at OSU, at the University of Illinois, in so many different parts of my life. As I started talking about it, other people started talking about it, and I don't want to say it normalized it. That's not where I want to go with this, but it made me realize this is a pervasive problem, and we need to talk about it more and more so that if someone else is sexually harassed they know where to go, they know there are other people who will support them. I wrote a paper, I took 01:09:00a class on legal issues in higher education, and I wrote a paper about sexual harassment in higher education. There were so few cases at the time. I did this in the early '80s. There were so few cases that I could call on, that I could find, that I started looking at corporations. I started looking at all the other--and women didn't file lawsuits about sexual harassment until after Anita Hill came forward. Then there were a lot more. Actually the first case that actually resulted in a finding for the complainant was a man who had been sexually harassed. I thought that was interesting, too. The first one who actually collected money for being wronged.

JAT: But before the Affirmative Action office was established people would come often to the counseling center or to the various deans. I had one classic 01:10:00case--a young woman came to the Dean of Students to say that the person who had, the dean of her college, had tried to proposition her and who was doing things that she didn't think was appropriate. So the Dean of Students called me. We heard the story. So he picked up the phone and called the dean of the college whom he knew well and invited him over to the office and the man walks into the office and said, "Is this the person?" She said, "No." So we determined it was another person in that office who had done that. And so worked with that, made it very clear what the situation was with the person. A couple of other times students who could come to me and it was a matter of referring then for the taking care of it by going through the academic areas because these were faculty who were being involved. The use of the Affirmative Action Office and now the 01:11:00whole sexual harassment and sexual assault office, we've got people trained to deal with this and it isn't just something that comes up as one of the things that happens that day. It's a lot better.

Student 6: Were there any events that any of you remember that maybe started out with just one thing and led to policy change?

BR: I'm not thinking of anything that happened quickly. Usually it takes a long time to change policy.

Student 6: But something that just started the conversation, maybe?

JAT: I don't know whether it was an event so much that changed the policies 01:12:00about regulations in women's regulations as it was just general conversation among professionals about how we could better enable students to begin to accept responsibility for their own decisions. That wasn't an event necessarily. There could be some situations where you encountered-- well, that wasn't really an event that did that. I'm not thinking of anything right offhand either specific as a--

BR: There were several things that led to positions being created. It wasn't so much policy change. But I mentioned sexual assault, and eventually we got a 01:13:00sexual assault support services coordinator in counseling. I remember there were several sexual assaults that made it on the front page of the Gazette-Times. Then there was an incident that involved student athletes in one of the residence halls. When that actually happened I remember being home. It was a sick day for me. I was home, and I got a call from the Vice Provost of Student Affairs, and he said, "I've just been talking with the president. We're going to fund a position." It was because this sexual assault had taken place. A student athlete, or student athletes, were involved. It was, again, a front-page story. But when stuff happens, sometimes it takes-- and I hate to say it takes a lot of things to move in that direction, but a position was finally funded because administrators came together and said we have to do something.


I know the Women's Center was responsible for education around sexual assault, and I actually applied for a grant for an AmeriCorps member, and had I think for 3 or 4 years we had an AmeriCorps member doing education programs in sororities and residence halls and classrooms around just to educate students about what is sexual assault and domestic violence, sexual harassment. We did such a good job that they funded a position in the Student Health Center, and now they have a whole center for education around sexual assault, drugs and alcohol. So they're doing some really good work there. I also remember doing a report through the president's commission on the status of women around work-life balance, and they hired somebody at the university shortly thereafter. This was just as I was retiring. I was really proud that we raised the issue, we said it's not fair that it's not evenly balanced. It wasn't just a women's issue, because there 01:15:00were issues of men as well that didn't have balance in their lives. But we raised the issue, we did a report. We looked at universities around the country, and we finally got somebody. I don't know if it solves the issues, but we did get a position to work with work-life balance issues on campus. That was my last hoorah before I left.

CP: Any other questions that anybody has that they want to ask?

Student: I have a question for Beth. So you talked a lot about student voices. Did you notice a difference between student-led organizations and faculty-led organizations, like the tactics that they used to try to create change, or--?

BR: I always felt students had the more powerful voice. Faculty, particularly 01:16:00tenured faculty, you could say anything and feel fairly secure in their jobs had some strength, but students, when they would come together I felt that they often could create change in a lot of ways.

JAT: I would agree. It's a different culture--in terms of in the perceptions of what's going on on the campus--is different between the two groups. In fact, it's different among groups of students.

BR: Janet mentioned the student who was part of student government. I think the students spoke very strongly with their votes, to remove somebody from ASOSU. 01:17:00Students recognize when they are not being treated well or when there's something not right on campus. I love when they come together and create change or correct some inequality.

JAT: I think this is more true now than it was, say, 30 years ago.

BR: Yep.

JAT: I think that people begin to understand a little bit more about what some of the social justice issues are.

CP: I have a question for Jo Anne. So we have studied the position of the Dean of Women in this class, and you were the last one. I'm guessing you knew probably knew at least the one who came before you. Can you talk about what that position meant as a symbol? I mean, we know the position had specific roles, but we've been positing that the Dean of Women stood for something for women 01:18:00students in the '40s, '50s, and '60s on this campus. Did you get any guidance as to what it mean to be the Dean of Women from your predecessor?

JAT: Not necessarily from my immediate predecessor but from other Deans of Women that I knew in the field. The positon of Dean of Women is one of the first administrative positions in higher education. Back in the late 1800s there was a Dean of Women here at Oregon State before there was a Dean of Men. I think that for the most part I think that there are two perceptions: one is that some people saw the Dean of Women as being a stern person who wouldn't let you do anything, that it just was a killjoy and was there to make life miserable for you. The other was that it was a person who set a standard, who was there to 01:19:00support women students, who provided opportunities for growth. I think of a woman--Kate Wetzel Jameson--who was one of the first Deans of Women here and who was Dean of Women from about 1924 to 1940 something and who started a lot of things that were very positive for women and who spoke out clearly in terms of women's responsibilities and women's rights and equality. I think most Deans of Women did that, played that kind of a role in terms of support. But there are all these myths about Deans of Women and Deans of Men, too. I don't know where they come from, but I think somebody wrote up something as a joke for the student newspaper probably. But I think for the most part the Dean of Women was 01:20:00a person, and I think this was true of the Dean of Men, who supported the students, who set a standard, and who cared about the people that they were working with.

BR: One of the things that I learned when I got into this field is there were national organizations where people would come together. NAWD was the National Association of Women Deans. Then it became--

JAT: It disappeared.

BR: NAWE, the National Association of Women in Education. That's when I joined it.

JAT: Yeah, right, yeah.

BR: It was an organization. I had been in recreational sports, which is a male dominated field, the first time I went to a conference that was all women it felt so empowering. We could compare stories and we could tackle problems together. Then the National Association of Women in Education eventually closed its doors and then we joined the National Women's Studies Association, and that 01:21:00was a whole new organization where we not only dealt with issues that were being taught in the classroom in Women's Studies, but the Women's Center directors would come together and we'd meet for 3 days talking about some of the things that were going on nationally. We would support each other. One of the things that I did nationally was I became a consultant and I would go in and do evaluations of Women's Centers. I learned a lot about what other Women's Centers were doing around the country. That was another thing that really brought us together. If I was ever having a problem or a question and I knew that it had been tackled at another campus, I could pick up the phone and call one of my colleagues on another campus. That was one of the good things about being in a field where there was people nationally that you could call on.


TEM: I have a question. So we talked about 1973 as being a very important pivotal, an important year. What are some other years on campus I guess specifically that when you think back on what you know, I guess what you experienced, but just what you know, what are some of those other pivotal points on campus in the history of OSU?

JAT: I say one might be 1969 which is when the decision was--it had been gradually happening--but when the decision was actually made to move away from someone being responsible for just all the women's things: housing, activities, advising, and men, etc. and to bring it together. I think that changed the whole approach in terms of student affairs in 1969. I don't think of a specific date, 01:23:00but probably in the '80s, the mid-'80s, as things began to become, the culture began to change in general on the campus. There were more minorities. There was more interest and concern about what was going on with minorities. Women's issues became more prominent. There was more involvement--Beth talks about the student voice, voices began to be heard more. More attention was being paid. Things began to move outside the campus more than they were just internalized always. But that's not a specific date. I don't think of any other in terms of-- I think that one of the things that I have noticed in the time that I've been 01:24:00retired is I have observed what's gone on in terms of student affairs, is that there is a lot more effort being made on the part of staff to get students involved in. I don't know how successful it is because I don't see the numbers of students who participate, and I see--and Janet I'm sorry she's gone because she could speak to this in terms of the kinds of things as far as awareness--experiences in working with student social justice issues, the responsibilities that people, students, have for the world around them, whether it's the environment, or the people, or their roommates, their friends, etc. I 01:25:00see quite an emphasis there happening with what's going on with the way the staff is interacting with students.

BR: After 9/11 we did a lot of programs around Muslim students because they were being discriminated against. We also provided a space in the Women's Center where students could come and pray, because there wasn't at that time there wasn't a place on campus where they could come. There were times when I think it was really insightful for me particularly because there were a lot of things that I learned during that process. We became a safe space for Muslim women to come together and gather. We did a lot of programs around that as well. I mentioned before that the Women's Center would often respond to things that were happening nationally and internationally, but I think it wasn't just a response, 01:26:00but when something does happen students will often go to a place of support. If a racial incident happens, whether it happens at OSU or it happens someplace else in the country, students want to talk about race or want to talk about homophobia. I mentioned Matthew Shepard. I'm trying to think--I'm not giving you exact dates, except 9/11 was one that came to mind. It was often responding to things that were happening in our country.

With the Women's Center and most offices on campus can't take a stand when an election is coming up. We can't really talk about things from a Republican or Democratic point of view, but we could have educational programs that showed 01:27:00both sides. That's when we would bring in the League of Women Voters. But sometimes after an election we would need to do some programming around, okay, where do we go from here? How do we move forward? I remember particularly after George Bush was elected that was, in many cases, particularly for liberal students, it was really hard. I can only imagine today [laughter in the room]. But we would try to still be a safe space and we'd try to tackle issues. We'd have dialogue. Sometimes there would be an opposing view, but it was a safe place for people to bring up whatever was going on for them. I think we tried very hard to be pretty neutral, although there were some issues that we weren't neutral on, and one of those were abortion or a woman's right to choose. That was something where we would occasionally head-butt with people, and 01:28:00understandably. There are people who are pro-life and I understand and support them in their views as well. But we wanted students to know that they had a safe place to come if they were seeking advice or support related to pregnancy options, and we would give them all of their options.

CP: We're pretty much up against our time limit, but I have one question that might work well as a concluding question and that is we talked earlier about growth at this university and talked more specifically about women's issues. This is the sesquicentennial year for OSU--it's 150 years old--so the university has changed an awful lot in the recent time and over the entire expanse of its history. Thinking more broadly, not necessarily about women, but about this university, where do you see OSU as being positioned right now as it looks towards its future?


BR: Wow.

JAT: One thing that I've always felt about the institution and that I have come to believe strongly and I think, and I'm thinking of this new slogan about "Out There" everywhere is that I think where the institution is positioning itself is to be there for the state, for the people of the state in so many ways. That's one of the things a land grant institution can do. With all of the high-quality students, faculty, and staff that they have to be able to come out with ideas and to provide the service that they do, I see this as where the institution is going and what it can do. It really is a place that can provide things for the 01:30:00entire state. It needs to believe in itself in order to do that and not let itself get too big [laughter in the room].

BR: I'll say that I think Oregon State is well-positioned to create change nationally and internationally through its research and various programs. I think one of the things I'm most concerned about is climate change and OSU is working in so many different colleges around the issues of climate. That's something that we can't change, I mean we can't ignore because it affects everybody and it affects future generations. I think Oregon State is in a position to create change nationally and internationally as well. We have so many more international students on this campus. I still remember a student that 01:31:00was in my class, a class I taught on Women in Leadership, who was from Saudi Arabia. She said at the end of the class--she was very quiet at the beginning of class--by the end of class she stated to the other 25 students, she said, "I hope to go back to my country, and women will be allowed to drive. Women will be allowed to serve in governmental positions." She was ready to go back and create change in Saudi Arabia. I just felt so proud. I think every one of our students can leave this institution with the desire to create a better place wherever you go from here, and I hope that you will, not only through this class that you're learning about women's issues. I hope you'll expand and learn more about people with disabilities and class and race and don't stop. Just keep taking in 01:32:00information so that you create change wherever you go from here.

CP: Well, thanks to you both. I'm sure I speak for everybody in this room when I say this has been a terrific privilege really for us to have you here, and we appreciate you spending your time and sharing your memories with us. Thank you very much.

JAT and BR: Thank you.