The history of the Women's Community Center can be traced to the 1970s when a group of Stanford women started holding regular meetings to discuss common challenges of being women students in a male-dominated academic setting. As this group grew, they named themselves the Women's Collective and advocated for meeting space at the Toyon eating clubs. As was happening on many college campuses across the nation, these women worked together to advocate for a more equitable educational experience for women students. Issues they addressed include sexual harassment, pay equity and discrimination in the classroom.
In the 1980s, they appealed to the university for a half-time graduate student coordinator position to assist the group with providing programs and services to the greater campus community. They were successful in this appeal and, in 1991, the group was allocated space in the Old Fire Truck House, where it was re-named the Women’s Center. From that time the Women’s Center was run by undergraduate and graduate student volunteers who put on events and programs for the campus community. Through effective lobbying efforts, supported by students and constituents from the ethnic based cultural centers on campus, in 1999 the center received additional funding which allowed for the creation of a full-time director position as well as the addition of seven paid student staff members.
The Women’s Community Center (affectionately known as the WCC) has provided programs, services, and resources for students over the years and has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of students. The WCC now employs three full-time professional staff members in addition to three graduate student coordinators and anywhere from 10-13 undergraduate student program coordinators. The Women's Community Center is now a university department within the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs. The original student organization, the Women’s Collective, has evolved over the years in it’s function and mission, and is now known as the Womxn’s Coalition. They are one of many women’s voluntary student organizations that the WCC supports.