Campus Life and Diversity Office
The Campus Life and Diversity Office coordinates programs and services to build inclusive and affirming campus environments for all students and oversees the Vassar First Year program, a series of events, including New Student Orientation, designed to introduce new students to life at Vassar. A mix of academic events, cultural happenings, and discussions about campus issues, these programs encourage students to engage beyond the classroom as they explore channels for contributing to the intellectual and community life of the college.
The Campus Life and Diversity Office hosts regular Conversation Dinners and plans the annual All College Day in February, bringing students, faculty, administrators, and staff together for a day of discussions and dialogues. The office also assists students, groups, and other offices in creating opportunities for participants from different backgrounds and perspectives to engage in dialogue. In addition, the office oversees the following campus resources that focus on issues of identity and social justice education and provide support for religious and spiritual groups and historically underrepresented groups:
The ALANA Center provides a myriad of resources and programs to enhance the campus life and academic experiences of African-American/Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students. The center provides a comfortable gathering space for student organizations that support students of color and offers opportunities for leadership development, intra-cultural and cross-cultural dialogues, lectures, big sister/big brother and alumnae/i mentoring programs. The center also provides resources for interacting with various communities in Poughkeepsie and surrounding areas, cultural journals/newsletters, educational videos, career development, scholarship and fellowship information, and a computer lab.
The Office of International Services offers a full range of resources for international students and scholars, including advice and assistance in visa, immigration, tax, employment, cultural and general matters. The office seeks to support internationals in adjusting to and embracing a new culture and also to involve and engage all members of the campus community in events, workshops, and other opportunities to share the wealth of global perspectives and experiences our campus enjoys.
The LGBTQ/Gender Resource Centers, located in College Center 213 and staffed by the assistant director for Campus Life and interns, fosters a spirit of inquiry while offering Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, and Queer (LBGTQ) and gender viewpoints to the campus life and academic discourse. The center hosts discussions, lectures, and social events, and pro- vides meeting space for various student organizations.
The Women’s Center, located in Strong House, Room 114, is staffed by student interns who plan film screenings, lectures, and discussions on a range of topics. They collaborate with other student interns and student organizations to promote gender equity. Faculty members from the Women’s Studies Program provide support through curricular and co-curricular advising.
The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) oversees, advises, and supports a wide range of religious and civic communities and initiatives on campus and plays an important role as a college liaison to the mid-Hudson Valley community. RSL staff members are available for pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance for any concern or question students may have. Staffed by a director, an assistant director, an advisor to Jewish students, and part-time affiliate advisors serving the Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and InterVarsity communities on campus, RSL provides programming and support for 10 different student religious groups at Vassar. RSL has office and program space in the Chapel tower and basement, as well as at the Bayit, Vassar’s home of Jewish campus life, at 51 Collegeview Avenue.
For more information, please visit http://campuslifeanddiversity.vassar.edu.
Campus Life Response Team
The office also coordinates the Campus Life Response Team (CLRT), a resource for responding to student crises and incidents that may disrupt the community or endanger students. The Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life and Diversity coordinates the response team and, when possible, convenes the CLRT within 24 hours to determine initial steps, and to identify additional offices or members from the campus community who can assist with the college’s response.