Inspiring Inclusion Everyday – Meet Sophia Butler-Doucette

From a young age, fourth-year Biology student, Sophia Butler-Doucette, has been aware of the various centres and resources offered at CBU thanks to her mother’s involvement during her own time as a student. Originally born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Sophia’s family moved to Cape Breton when she was just four years old so her mother could pursue her BEd at CBU. Often attending classes with her mother, spending time at the daycare and exploring with her stepfather, Bruno McInnis, who is still a part of the CBU family to this day. It was this familiarity that made her want to get involved once she became a student. 

Now in her third year as one of the Outreach Coordinators at the CBUSU Women’s Centre, Sophia says she looks forward to celebrating International Women’s Day this year, exploring the 2024 theme, Inspire Inclusion. “To me, this theme acknowledges that not all women are the same and not all women have the same experiences,” she says. “We all come from different backgrounds and walks of life. This is important to acknowledge, especially at CBU where we have women that come from so many different cultures which brings forward different perspectives and challenges that each woman faces.”

Opened in 1997, the CBUSU Women’s Centre was designed to be a safe haven for all self-identified women on campus. “We are here to offer support, resources and peer-referrals to students who need help with various situations,” says Sophia. The Women’s Centre offers support for women in need of feminine hygiene supplies, STI testing and prevention, pregnancy testing, safe sex advice and those experiencing issues with violence. “Additionally, we develop programs and coordinate events that pertain to the women at CBU including the Women’s Support Group and Hello Baby, a program that helps new and expecting parents on campus with the cost of baby supplies,” Sophia adds. 

Advocating for women’s issues and helping others is something Sophia has always been passionate about, making a role in the CBUSU Women’s Centre a perfect fit for her. “I have had the opportunity to engage with so many women on campus, and I feel like I have really been able to make a difference with what we have accomplished at the Centre,” she says. Sophia has also been successful in continuing to make time for her studies, work as a Student Research Assistant and stay involved with Cape Power Cheerleading as both an athlete and coach, all while being the President of the Biology Society. 

For Sophia, International Women’s Day is about celebrating all women and their accomplishments.“It is about celebrating the hardships women have overcome throughout the years and bringing awareness to the challenges and inequalities that some women are still facing,” she says. With this year’s theme,  Inspire Inclusion, in mind, the CBUSU Women’s Centre is taking extra steps to ensure all students know they are welcome. “At the Women’s Centre, we try to take all perspectives into consideration when developing our services and events so that we can create a space that is inclusive and helpful to all women,” says Sophia.

The main thing she and other volunteers at the Centre want students to know is that, though they are strictly a referral service and resource centre, everything is completely confidential. “Any services accessed at the Women’s Centre, or any information that is disclosed to us, will be kept completely confidential,” says Sophia. “We are here to help in any way we can, and we will always remain non-judgemental, no matter what.”

The CBUSU Women’s Centre is located in the Students’ Union building. To connect with the Women’s Centre, email or find more information by visiting their website