Campus Life and Diversity Office
The Campus Life and Diversity Office strives to enhance the quality of campus life for all students by advancing Vassar’s mission to provide a socially responsible and inclusive education. We promote affirming communities, equity, social justice education, global citizenship, cultural pluralism, and spiritual exploration through a variety of resources: the ALANA Cultural Center to support students of color, International Services, the LGBTQ Center, Religious and Spiritual Life resources, the Women’s Center, campus dialogues across difference and community, and First Year student engagement programs.
The Campus Life team works in close collaboration across offices, with faculty and other administrative resources to foster inclusive learning and living environments as valuable components of a liberal arts education for Vassar students.
The office hosts Conversation Dinners, Intergroup and Social Justice Dialogues, and plans the annual All College Day in February, which brings students, faculty, administrators, and staff together for a day of discussions and dialogues. We also assist students, groups, and other offices in creating opportunities for participants from different backgrounds and perspectives to engage in dialogue. In addition, the Campus Life division (located in Main, N-163) oversees the following campus resource offices which focus on particular communities and underrepresented groups while also supporting all students:
The ALANA Center provides myriad resources and programs to enhance the campus life and academic experiences of African-American/Black, Latino/a, Asian/Asian-American, and Native American students. The center provides a comfortable gathering space and offices 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, a free-standing building adjacent to the Powerhouse Theater, also catalogs cultural journals/newsletters, educational videos, career development, scholarship and fellowship information, and computing resources for academics and student organizations use.
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, located in Main S-185, 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 Center, located in College Center 213, is a place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and ally students to relax, socialize and learn. The center hosts discussions, lectures, social events; provides meeting space for various student organizations; and has a robust library of LGBTQ-related books.
The Women’s Center, located in College Center 235, offers a lounge space and programming on various components of gender equity, women’s leadership, empowerment, and health. The Women’s Center Student Advisory Board—which consists of 8 to 10 female-identified student leaders—acts as a think tank to the center, helping to devise new programs and initiatives.
The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) provides programming and support for 10 different student religious groups at Vassar, 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. The RSL staff includes a full-time advisor to Jewish students and part-time affiliate advisors for the Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and InterVarsity communities on campus. RSL is located in the Chapel tower and basement, as well as at the Bayit, Vassar’s home of Jewish campus life, at 51 Collegeview Avenue.
Bias Incident Response Team. The Campus Life and Diversity Office also coordinates a response team which may be convened in response to bias-related incidents and situations that may impact campus climate.The associate dean of the college for campus life and diversity coordinates the team and, when possible, convenes it 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.
For more information about the Office of Campus Life and Diversity, please visit the Campus Life & Diversity website.