WGSS Center

entry to center space

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Center is an inclusive and multi-issue feminist community space and resource center for all members of the SUNY Old Westbury community.

A proud member of the Social and Environmental Justice Institute, the WGSS Center has three main goals:

  • To educate and empower people of all genders about issues of gender and sexuality, health and well-being, and achievement;

  • ​To raise awareness of and to reduce inequities, discrimination, and violence based on gender and sexuality;

  • To champion diversity, to advocate for equity, to build community, and to promote social justice.

Some History

SUNY Old Westbury is the first home of the Feminist Press, and it pioneered some of the first courses in Women’s Studies in the early 1970s.  
Early faculty include:

  • political commentator and author Barbara Ehrenreich, (all co-authored with Deirdre English,) Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers (1972); Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness (1973); and For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts' Advice to Women  (1978);
  • feminist scholar Roberta Salper, author of the early feminist anthology, Female Liberation: History and Current Politics (1972); and
  • feminist activist Rosalyn Baxandall, who authored, Words of Fire: The Life and Writing of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1987), and with Linda Gordon,   Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement (2001).  

In 2006 directors of the Center, Amanda Frisken (acting) and Carolyn Cocca were Principal Investigators in a multi-year Department of Justice Violence Against Women Act grant to address campus-based violence against college students that re-invigorated the Old Westbury Women’s Center. 

The Center was officially re-named in 2023 to better reflect its work and connections to the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the WGS minor, and the new WGSS major.


Social & Environmental Justice Institute
Woodlands Hall 1  |  Rooms 108-110


Monday - Thursday  12pm-5pm
& events as scheduled