Budget cuts close Women's Center

WALLA WALLA -- The Women's Center at Walla Walla Community College has closed, following a series of budget cuts that covered staffing.

College spokesman Clint Gabbard said state budget cuts led to the center's demise, as well as the elimination of the IMPACT! Life Transitions Program for displaced homemakers.

Gabbard said the decline of the Women's Center goes back to last fall, when the center's long-term director resigned. The position never was filled because of budget cuts implemented at the college last year, but the center remained open.

During the 2010-11 academic year, the Women's Center operated under reduced hours and was staffed by Deana York, who also ran the IMPACT! program.

During this year's legislative session, legislators cut all state funding for Life Transitions programs across the state.

Gabbard said the college offered temporary funding for York's position to maintain it through the year, but York took another position elsewhere.

The Women's Center provided support and referral services to students, and helped them with particular needs or challenges, such as being adult learners, single parents or displaced homemakers.

Students served by the center are having their needs met through other programs offered at the campus.