Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Diversity Center moves toward completion

Molly O’Keefe/Winonan

Students and club leaders from the No Space Coalition, along with the Student Senate at Winona State University, will soon be opening a student Diversity Center.

The date of the opening is still being determined, but it should occur sometime this month.

According to Student Senate President Alexandra Griffin, “The Diversity Center will be located on the second floor of Wabasha Hall, but we hope to eventually move it to Kryzsko Commons once it is expanded.”

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Jerad Green, a student at Winona State, said, “The diversity space project began after 28 students went to the Power and Diversity Leadership Conference last January in St. Cloud, Minn.”

These students formed the Power in Diversity student group and worked “to challenge administration by building a cardboard structure near the Gazebo in the middle of campus,” Green said.

At the same time, the Higher Learning Commission did an assessment of Winona State and informed administration that diversity needed to be a priority at Winona State.

“After negotiating with students, Student Senate and administration, the efforts of the students led to the creation of the Diversity Center in Wabasha Hall,” Green said.

According to Griffin, the Diversity Center will be a “resource area for anyone who wants information about diversity or access to support services.”

“The Diversity Center is a space where diverse students will have a place where they don’t feel marginalized,” Green said, “and feel empowered speaking with other students facing similar issues as themselves. It will be used for programming, services, trainings and conversation.”

The Diversity Center will be open to all students.

“It is targeted for students of color and LGBT students primarily,” Green said.

“But all students face some sort of oppression that they can’t talk about anywhere, so anyone is welcome to use it, providing they use it respectfully.”

According to “The Diversity Report” from The No Space Coalition, the request for a student Diversity Center “is more than just having a physical room, it is a place where we can meet, interact and celebrate our diversity, without fear of who we are or what we are.”

Green said having a Diversity Center is highly important to him and other students. “Being at a predominantly white institution, issues surrounding race, discrimination, oppression and any issues diverse students experience is often dismissed, ignored,and played off like it doesn’t exist,” he said.

“It’s important to have a place where that dialogue is accepted in order to retain students of color and diverse backgrounds on campus.”

Contact Molly at [email protected]

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