University opens rooms for breast feeding

Jacquii A. Tilley and Jacquii A. Tilley

The University has it’s first lactation room.

Jonah’s room, a room designated for breast feeding, opened last year in room 105A on the first floor of Hanna Hall.

Breast-feeding students and faculty who do not have private spaces to produce milk for their children can do so in Jonah’s room.

The University started the room in response to Sarah Jefferson, a graduate who felt the University did not support her when she became pregnant. The room is named after her son.

Jefferson, a scholarship student, dropped out of college but returned after a year to finish her bachelor’s degree. She graduated before pursuing her career and a Master’s degree at another university.

Mary Krueger, director of the Women’s Center said “The room is not just for BG students, but also for employees.”

Jonah’s room is not the only breast-feeding room on campus. There is another room located in the Education Building in room 305. That room was started by a faculty member who had a child and needed to pump milk for her child in privacy.

The University also has a new fund for student mothers called the Elizabeth M. Boyer Fund.

“The student fund is not like a scholarship,” Krueger said. “[It’s] more like a fund to help mothers with the aid of their child.”

Krueger said there is a party to kick off the fund on Nov. 10.

First-year Brittany Kennedy was not aware of the new room and would like to know more.

“I didn’t know they had a lactating room,” she said. “I have so many questions. Why do they need a certain room?”

Other students had more to say.

“I guess it’s okay,” said first-year Janella Blanchard. “Why can’t they do that in their room?”

First-year Kendra Smith acknowledged the practicality of the room.

“It’s probably useful for many girls,” Smith said.

Faith Yingling, director of the wellness connection, said the room affects campus in a positive way and believes more space for young mothers would be a good change.

“Ideally, it would be nice to see more rooms around campus,” Yingling said. “If we see more students utilizing the space, we can build a case.”

Students with questions regarding Jonah’s room should contact Krueger at (419)-372-7227 or at [email protected]