Stevenson University has transformed the former space in Caves that was previously the Academic Link into what is now known as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. This area includes a prayer and meditation space for students. Those who wish to use the room do not need to sign up or reserve a spot; however, it is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
When the Academic Link, that had been in Caves, moved to a space in Garrison Hall, Caves was left with a space perfectly suited for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Within the center, there are individual conference rooms, a smaller room to be used for private prayer or meditation, and small offices where student organizations can meet. The area was opened on February 7, 2017, as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion celebrated its grand opening.
A new and important feature of the inclusive area is a single-stall restroom, including a shower, to support transgender students and those who might need to use that facility. It is located directly outside the center.
The new space is open to all members of the campus community and all religions on campus. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion isn’t only for meditation and prayer. Students have the opportunity to work in the center under Natalie Gillard, the assistant vice president of multicultural experience. Students can also host club events in the space. Two events have been held in this area thus far, including a Soul Food event and a Lunch and Learn discussion.
The Lunch and Learn series event was held on February 15. Gillard is the host of the series, choosing a new topic for each discussion. Her first topic focused on “Hair Texture and Skin Tone Complexity and the African American Experience,” emphasizing the historical context and significance of the topic. During the event, students had the opportunity to enjoy lunch and good discussion.