October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Dear Haverford,

October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the week after fall break, we will be tabling in the Dining Center to hand out pink ribbons for FREE to help spread the awareness. Additionally, the Women’s Center staff and intern have placed a breast cancer self-exam guide on every shower head on the campus!

***Few Q&A from www.nbcam.org/

Q: What is breast cancer?
A: Breast cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk). It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare.

Q: How common is breast cancer in the United States?
A: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, aside from skin cancer.

Q: How many new cases of breast cancer were estimated in the United States in 2009?
A: According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States last year. Approximately 1,910 new cases are expected in men. The ACS also reports that an estimated 40,610 breast cancer deaths are expected in 2009 (40,170 women, 440 men).

Q: How can women get low-cost or free mammograms?
A: For information on low- or no cost mammography screening, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at (888) 842-6355 or visit their Web site at www.cdc.gov. Women seeking mammograms at a reduced rate are urged to make their appointment early in the year, as space may be limited. To find a breast-imaging facility, contact the National Cancer Institute at (800) 4-CANCER.

***Other risk factors – and lifestyle choices to avoid them***
Common to all women are daily lifestyle decisions that may affect breast cancer risk. These day-to-day choices involve factors such as poor diet, insufficient physical activity, alcohol use, and smoking. Besides possibly reducing breast cancer risk, lifestyle improvements represent smart steps for a healthier life, since they can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic, life-threatening conditions.

*Decrease your daily fat intake – especially saturated or hydrogenated fats. Eat leaner meats and limit red meat. Reducing your fat intake helps prevent other health problems such as heart disease and stroke and may reduce your chance of developing breast and colon cancers.

*Increase fiber in your diet. Fiber is found in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. This type of diet is beneficial for your heart and can help prevent other cancers such as colon cancer.

*Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to their fiber content, fruits and vegetables have antioxidant properties and micronutrients that may help prevent some cancers.
Limit alcohol. Evidence suggests that a small increase in risk exists for women who average two or more drinks per day (beer, wine, and distilled liquor).

*Stay active. The U.S. Surgeon General has recently reported that you can help prevent many health problems by engaging in a moderate amount of physical activity (such as taking a brisk, 30-minute walk) on most days of the week. Strive to maintain the body weight recommended by a health professional, since excess fat may stimulate estrogen production.

*Don’t smoke. Although smoking doesn’t cause breast cancer, it can increase the chance of blood clots, heart disease, and other cancers that may spread to the breast.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at womenctr@haverford.edu



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Domestic/Dating Violence Awareness Month!

Hey Haverford,


As some of you might know, the month of October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a month to recognize and raise awareness of the issues of violence in relationships.  This topic, while discussed, is often brushed under the carpet when it comes to dating.  People forget that dating violence, especially on campuses, is not uncommon and is not okay.

This year is my first year as an intern at the Women’s Center, and my main focus project is on increasing awareness about dating violence on campuses, educating the Haverford community on the issue, teaching students how to recognize the warning signs, and providing support for survivors and assistance in how to get out of a violent situation.  While this is an ongoing project, I chose this month to start in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

What can you do now?  If you are here over fall break and are free on October 15th, why not run/walk at the Kristin’s Krusade over at St. Joseph’s University?  You can register yourself at www.kristinskrusade.org!  Kristin’s Krusade is an annual run at St. Joseph’s University, started by the family of a girl who became a victim of dating violence when her boyfriend killed her after their break-up.  The run was started to raise funds and support survivors services, education on the issue, and other awareness raising activities.  Look out for more information in the weeks to come!


Much love,


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Meet Our ’11-’12 Staff!

Dear Haverford,

Welcome, or welcome back, to the Women’s Center’s blog! Our goal for this year’s blog is twofold: first, we’ll be updating you (our faithful followers) about upcoming events we’re hosting and the ways in which you can get involved, and second, we’ll be commenting on issues close to our hearts and raising questions for your consideration.

Who is “we”? I’m glad you asked. “We” refers to our current staff members: Sumin, Krysten, Maria, Emma, Gavi, and myself (Sara). Our job includes:

* Working with Marilou Allen, our director, to create and execute events for the community

* Managing the Student Assistant Hotline and taking calls about experiences with rape and sexual assault

* Working at the Center, where visitors can read through our extensive collection of literature, obtain information and resources, grab some free contraception, or just hang out

“We” also includes our current intern, Jari. More interns will join him later this year, but we’ll be blogging about that next week so stay tuned (especially if you want to intern with us!). In the meantime, you can find out more about each of the current WC members by clicking the Director/Staff tab at the top of the page. You can also (read: definitely should) come visit us during our shifts in the Center! Here is our schedule for this semester:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Maria12-4pm Emma12-4pm Gavi9:30am –        12:30pm Sumin12-2:30pm Krysten12-4pm Emma12-4pm Closed
Maria7-9pm Sumin7-11pm Krysten7-11pm Sara7-11pm Gavi7-11pm Closed Closed


We’re located in the Campus Center, Room 209 (the floor above Admissions), and we love visitors, so we encourage you to stop by. Check back next week for a posting about INTERN APPLICATIONS!! (Which are located here and are due on Friday, September 30th at 11:59pm.)

WC love,


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Celebration Time!

The weeks following spring break usually call for a fresh start.

This past Wednesday we held out SECOND ANNUAL MAN SPEAK and it went wonderfully. Man Speak is a pluralism-style, safe space to speak about what being a man and masculinity means to the male students – here at Haverford as well as beyond. A couple of years ago, the Women’s Center asked the  student body to fill out a survey about the kinds of events they would like to see more of. Overwhelmingly, the students responded that they wished that more of our events were made accessible to men as well as women. As a result of that, we’ve decided to provide men with a safe space and a forum in which they could discuss what what maleness and masculinity means to them. Last year was the first time we’d done Man Speak and due to the positive feedback, we’ve decided to make it an annual event.

On Saturday afternoon – sunny, but still a bit chilly – we gathered in and in front of Founders to celebrate Women’s History Month with a Be-You-tiful Celebration. Students got to paint, sculpt, decorate gingerbread women, and enjoy other yummy refreshments. We even got a henna tattoo artist! The centerpiece was a photography exhibition “Mirror, Mirror” a display of stunning, thought-provoking photographs featuring the work of some of the BiCo’s most talented female artists. Here are some pictures!

Gingerbread creation

Students checking out the photo exhibit

Decorating a poster with make-up

Henna tattoos!

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Black Hair Talk

Lori Tharps, author of Hair Story, came to speak to a packed room full of Tri-Co students about the history and politicization of hair. Hair has had especial importance throughout the history of America because of the complexities of race relations as a result of slavery.  Lori Tharps painted a fascinating picture of how we as a nation ended up with stereotypes about black hair that have fueled an ongoing debate about what is “good hair”.  A vivid and interesting speaker, Lori Tharps dominated the time she spoke with examples drawn from pop culture and with anecdotes of the difficulties of being one of the few experts on the subject.

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