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Student Diversity opens a new center at WSU Vancouver

Student Diversity at Washington State Vancouver has moved to a new location with new services for students. The new space, now called the Student Diversity Center rather than Student Diversity Office, is located at VFSC 136, next to the old location. According to Assistant Director for Student Diversity Bola Majekobaje, the Student Diversity Center will now be able to offer greater support for students with this new space. In its previous role as the Student Diversity Office, there were severe space limitations since it was shared with the Office of Student Involvement. Majekobaje said that in the old location, five workers had to share one desk. “They have their own space now,” she said, “and it gives them additional pride in their work [to see resources specifically allocated to their cause].”

This new, expanded space also means that students can now physically visit Student Diversity and feel welcomed. Before, there was not room for anyone but workers or volunteers. As Majekobaje said “it was just an office.” Now, the Student Diversity Center can comfortably accommodate students, and already she has seen an influx in student traffic. According to Majekobaje, the importance of a space for students to physically visit cannot be understated.  The center, as she said, “contributes to an increased feeling of community.” Students can come to the center and build connections with fellow peers who are there to support them. Majekobaje hopes that as the center continues to grow and develop, Student Diversity will be able to better serve the campus so that students will be able to know where they can come and get help if they are struggling.

Amanda Shannahan, advisor to the Student Diversity Center, said that she shared Majekobaje’s hopeful outlook for the new center. Shannahan, who took the advisory position only a few weeks ago, said that she hopes to help students “explore their cultural identities and promote cross-cultural understanding.” She hopes to help students understand that their culture and background is unique regardless of where they come from. When asked what cause spoke to her the most, Shannahan said, “it is less about what cause I want to champion, but rather to help students find what cause speaks to them.”

Majekobaje said that the new space will also allow the center to eventually host an assortment of events for the student body. These events will all serve to engage and inform students and will include small workshops and film screenings. In addition to these events, Majekobaje said there are further plans in motion for the center’s common space. Already, the center boasts a growing library of social justice books available for students. Soon, it will also add an art exhibit to the mix. Majekobaje also said there are hopes to allow for reservations of the common space for student discussion groups.

The first official event that the center will be holding is its own grand opening on August 26 at 2 p.m. Though the center has been technically open to students since May 5, Student Diversity decided to postpone the grand opening until the start of the fall semester in order to better attract and inform students. There will be free food and music as well as several speakers there to introduce and discuss the new Student Diversity Center.

The Student Diversity Center is located at VFSC 136 and is currently open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Majekobaje says that this is only a tentative schedule as the times may change in the future according to student demand. Students with questions or concerns can visit the center directly or contact them on Facebook by searching for “WSU Vancouver Student Diversity.”

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