STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) – Buena Vista University is introducing a new Center for Diversity and Inclusion to Siouxlanders, one that university administrators hope will improve the sense of “community” on campus.
“In college, you encounter people who are different than you. You’re actually trying to figure out who you are as a student as well,” said Ebony King, the Director of Multicultural Engagement.
The new Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) has students at Buena Vista University looking forward to the future
“Look at us now it’s very nice very professional very exciting,” said Danielle Hill, a junior at Buena Vista.
“It’s really a neat and exciting opportunity. I think for the university and the community of Storm Lake and the region and our current future students,” said Joshua Merchant, President of Buena Vista University.
Students on campus say through this new forum, their voices have been heard.
“When I came here I wanted to have a place that is for diversity and inclusion and we did have that but I think it was also being overshadowed,” said Nyajuok Lam, a senior at Buena Vista.
“There wasn’t really a place I could come to and do my homework and catch up with friends that I don’t usually see and so I’m glad they have this here for us,” said Hill.
“We needed to have a place where students felt free to be themselves, explore their identity and learn about the identities of others,” said King.
The $15 million project took nearly nine months to complete.
Positioned in the heart of student social life, it will offer clubs a place to gather and provide valuable resources for students.
“They’ll gather for meetings for events hangout study its just a place for students to feel like a home away from home,” said King.
“It’s really a place for students of all backgrounds, of all colors, of all racial and ethnic identities to really work without academic side Curriculum programming, to really work with our clubs and organizations that represent diverse populations or diverse issues,” said Merchant.
The school believes centers like the CDI are a necessity for universities everywhere.
“When you have a physical space for diversity and inclusion, people can see it walk past it they know that it’s important,” said King.