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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Observer

Division of inclusion and equity offers campus updates

In a Friday email to students, vice president for inclusion and equity, Redgina Hill, gave students more information about the new Division of Inclusion and Equity and its staff members.

Hill began her message by describing the mission of the division, which originates from the College’s new Strategic Plan.

“Our division exists as an institutional response to fulfill the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan,” Hill said. “As a division, we strive to create a culture of belonging and mattering by fostering an inclusive environment for all to experience acceptance, belonging and feel empowered to engage in the campus culture as a valued member.”

According to Hill, there are four departments that are housed within the division — the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Office for Student Equity and the LGBTQ+ Center.

Hill noted that the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services exists to aid underrepresented students.

“This office works to expand the College’s commitment to meeting the needs of its diverse student population through outreach, collaboration, and programs,” she said.

The Office is led by alumna Adriana Petty (’01), whose office is located in 214 Student Center.

According to Hill, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) serves the community by supporting female entrepreneurs through various programs.

“WEI provides real-world learning experiences and opportunities for small business/entrepreneurship to Saint Mary's College students and empowers women entrepreneurs and businesswomen through personal and professional development,” she said. “Since going online, WEI’s flagship program, the SPARK Women’s Business Accelerator is now reaching a national and international audience. Additionally, WEI is piloting a program to support diverse, women entrepreneurs in building wealth and leading neighborhood revitalization through small-scale development.”

The WEI is headed by director Willow Wetherall who is located in 103 Haggar Hall, said Hill.

The recently established Office for Student Equity through a donation from the Wilson Sheehan Foundation works to aid students of lower socioeconomic status.

“The office aspires to support our socioeconomic diverse student population and empowers students to achieve their full potential through financial, educational, and social support,” Hill said.

Alumna Christin Kloski (’15) is the associate director of the Office and is located in 216 Student Center.

Hill stated that the LGBTQ Center is also newly established, highlighting the College’s dedication to creating a safe space for students who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as their allies.

“The LGBTQ+ Center is new to campus and marks the College’s commitment, outlined in the strategic plan, to create a culture of belonging and mattering by fostering an inclusive environment for all,” she said.

The Center, located in 216 Student Center, is taking suggestions of names, which can be recorded in a Google Form until Sept. 22, Hill noted. Elayne Swafford will serve as the executive administrative assistant of the Center.

Hill stated that the celebration of the Office for Student Equity and the LGBTQ+ Center will take place during President Katie Conboy’s inauguration on Oct. 7 at 4 pm in Rice Commons.