Women and Gender Services (WXGS)

Welcome to Women and Gender Services (WXGS)

Women and Gender Services (WXGS) supports all undergraduate and graduate women as well as women identifying students through student and student club support, programs, workshop, education, and advocacy.  WXGS is one of the offices under SPXCE (pronounce "space" which stands for Social Justice Programming and Cross Cultural Engagement.  The Cheney Room is the physical space of WXGS which is in 3-310.  If you're interested in learning more about what we do, how we support students, what does "women identifying" mean and more, then scroll down below to our FAQ page. If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out at wxgs@mit.edu.  


The Cheney Room is closed for entry as of July 15th for renovations through the summer into end of fall semester. See below if you would like to read meeting notes from student focus groups. Check this page for updates about the progress of the renovation.

Cheney Room Progress (11/21/2022):

Follow us on Instagram for progress photos: wxgs_mit

  • Renovation is 90% done.  
    • Large Items:
      • Temp lights are installed with official ones coming January 2023
      • Couches for front and back room of Cheney Room arriving in December 2022
      • New piano delivered
      • Keurig station (in progress with venor for purchase)
      • Smart TVs installed and soundbar
    • Decor:
      • Art is coming in
      • Office is being setup
      • New women's library of books is being processed
      • Snack station in progress
      • Throw pillows, blankets, and floor cushions have arrived
Most of what needs to be in within WXGS' control is purchasing items that wasn't part of the renovation, shipping it to EC, hauling it to the Cheney Rroom, unpacking everything, and then setting it up. This is mostly a one person job by the one staff member of WXGS with the occasional LBGTQ+ Services' staff and student workers. If you would like to help make the progress go faster please email wxgs@mit.edu.  

Updates from Student Focus Group Meetings:

Meeting notes: Cheney Room Refresh Meeting Minutes
  • Student focus group meeting 1: 6/6/2022
  • Student focus group meeting 2: 7/28/2022
  • Student focus group meeting 3: 9/22/2022
  • Student focus group site visit: 12/2/2022

​Where to Go During Closure of Cheney Room

We know there's no space exactly like the Cheney Room, and until the Cheney Room is open there are some suggested areas students can go to.  Some of these spaces will also be where WXGS will hold programs.
  • The Rainbow Lounge (50-250) is a space that students have tap access to 6am - 1am the following day. It has couches, games, books, a front and back area, soft seating, a bean bag chair, and snacks.  LBGTQ+ Services hosts events, meetings, drop-in spaces, and more.  All are welcome to be in the space.  Go to the LBGTQ+ Serviecs' webpage to learn how to get to the Rainbow Lounge and what is offered.  
  • The DEN (3-108).  A new resource that was created for people across MIT to reserve and run programs.  The room is open to all and after 5pm during the weekday and on weekends the space can be reserved by anyone. 

Programs and Events

Our October programs are set! Go to our programs page to see what we're up to for this month: https://studentlife.mit.edu/womenmit/wxgs-events-programs 

You can also follow us on our brand new Instagram.  In addition to sharing our programs, we spotlight women figures past and present, share educational resources and support, highlight women's conferences that students can attend, and much more.


Learn More About WXGS - FAQ

1.) What does WXGS stand for?

  • WXGS stands for Women and Gender Services.  The X is both used to represent "and" and to signify that it's a part of SPXCE.

2.) How do you pronounce WXGS?

  • Wags.  The X acts like an "a" exactly as the X in SPXCE stands for "a."

3.) Is the Cheney Room a part of WXGS?

  • Yes! The Cheney Room is the physical location and student space for WXGS.

4.) How can I access the Cheney Room?

  • Please fill out the Cheney Room Tap Access form. To help with the volume of applicants that get manually added to the door tap system, all applicants will be added in batches every Tuesday and every Friday of the week.  If a school holiday falls on those days the applicants will get added the next business day.  However, at this time the Cheney Room is shut down for renovations and will open mid to late fall.

5.) What does WXGS do/offer?

  • We oversee the Cheney Room which is the physical center of Women and Gender Services. We put on programs and events, educational workshops, lunch and learns with partnering offices, manage student space reservations for the Cheney Room, financial resources for professional development and conferences, and so much more through an intersectional lens along identities such as: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, first gen status, ability, religious/spirituality, and more.
6.) What does "woman identifying" mean?
  • "Women identifying" is a broad category to indicate gender diverse students who may identify all or part of the time as women or with the experiences of being coded as a woman. These may be genders such as: demigirl, non-binary woman, genderfluid, bi-gender, gender questioning, etc It's a way to specifically highlight to students you are welcome here in these spaces, and these are resources and programs for you here.
7.) Why not use Women and Not-Binary to be inclusive?
  • Not all non-binary people identify with, or want to be seen as women. "Woman identifying" signals that if you resonate with this label or term in some way then you are welcome to use the Cheney Room and be a part of WXGS if you wish. We want to take the guess work out of students asking "do I belong in the Cheney Room?"
8.) I'm a trans woman, can I be in the Cheney Room?
  • Yes! Trans women are women.  WXGS is a space for all women as well as women identifying students.  If you are interested in being a part of the space, attending programs, or using resources centered on the nuanced and diverse experiences of gender then come on in.

9.) I'm a cis woman, is this space still for me?
  • Yes! We are here to support and empower all women and women identifying students. Gender is nuanced and comple, we want to make sure our programs, culture, language, and plicies reflect and affirm that complexity so that all those who use our services feel comfortable and seen.  We're just highlighting that we mean all women and those who resonate with the woman label in some way are welcome here as well.  The Cheney Room is a women's center and the programs/events we do are centered around those experiences and identities.
10.) Who oversees WXGS and the Cheney Room?
  • Lauryn McNair (she/they) the Assistant Dean of LBGTQ+, Women and Gender Services.  If you're interested in learning more about WXGS please email them at: lmcnair@mit.edu.

11.) How do I reserve space in the Cheney Room?

The Margaret Cheney Room


The Margaret Cheney Room, MIT's women's community center, was founded in 1884 in recognition of the fact that women have traditionally been denied a safe space of their own, especially in the STEM fields. In light of its founding mission, the Cheney Room exists to promote community and empower all students at MIT who experience gender-based systems of oppression. This includes (but is not limited to) transgender women, cisgender women, women-coded and/or non-binary individuals who feel that the Margaret Cheney Room is a space for them.   Click the sidebar to learn more about the Margaret Cheney Room History.  As noted above, the Cheney Room is currently closed for renovations. At this time students are unable to reserve the space for eventts or apply for tap access.