Progress is Made

As a direct result of their protest, several of the February Sisters’ demands were realized over the following years.

In 1972, Hilltop Day-Care Center was established. With an initial allocation of $20,000 by the Student Senate, Hilltop opened at its original site on Jayhawk Boulevard on August 21, 1972. The center was created to provide care for children whose parents were in some way affiliated with the university, be they student, staff, or faculty

Over the course of 1972-1977 a Women’s Studies program, major, and department was developed. In the fall of 1972, Janet Sharistanian taught the first Women's Studies course in the humanities: Images of Women in British and American Literature. In November of that year, the College Assembly approved the first cross listing of a course under the Women's Studies rubric, thus "legitimating the existence of Women's Studies as a curricular area and opening the way for the development of Women's Studies courses across the curriculum and the building of a program." In June of 1977, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a standard major in Women’s Studies. In 2008, the Women's Studies Program changed its name to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. The department now offers programs for two different undergraduate majors and minors, a master’s degree, a graduate certificate, and a PH.D.

The following years also saw women finally being appointed in higher administrative and academic positions. In 1972, Dr. Marilyn Stokstad was hired as the first female associate dean in the College. In 1978, Frances Horowitz was named vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, and Deanell Tacha was named vice chancellor for academic affairs in 1981.

In 1972, Student Health Services started providing birth control pills and gynecological services. Today, Watkins Health Services provides “confidential examinations, treatment, and preventive care as well as answers to questions about pregnancy, sex, reproductive health and numerous other topics.”