By: Maggie Vancampen –
Though the timeframe hasn’t been finalized, the LGBT Center, the Women’s Center, the Muhammed Ali Institute For Peace and Justice and the new Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence committee will soon all share one roof in Strickler Hall.
These student services will replace REACH on the first floor and the offices on the second floor of the building, which was relocated to the new Belknap Academic Building before the fall semester. As a result the Strickler rooms were left empty for the first few weeks of school.
Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs Dr. Mordean Archer-Taylor said the idea was first proposed to her a few years ago when students asked for an Identity Center. Archer-Taylor used that idea as a basis for this vision.
“This is a better space. The physical location is better because it provides space for growth and collaboration.” Archer-Taylor said.
The Director of the LGBT Center Lisa Gunterman said she was excited about the space because it would allow the students to have more room to do their work.
“There is nowhere to like spread out, you could try to spread out, but I don’t know if it would on the floor or outside, I don’t know.” Gunterman said.
“[Strickler] provides a layer of privacy and confidentiality that people don’t have right now, so, I think that is encouraging too.”
Gunterman also hopes that with the space will also allow for more collaborative events. “Being in the same space I feel like there would be a lot of different ways where we could see how we could support one another’s events and maybe collaborate on programming.”
“Once students feel a sense of belonging, once they know they are valued, appreciated, once they know they have a safe space, that is a conduit of academic success,” Archer-Taylor said.
Director of The Women’s Center Valerie Casey was happy to be moving into the new space.
“We invite all students to come by and meet our staff and members of our six student groups,” Casey said.
Olivia King, The President of the American Association of University Women and one of the Women Center’s student groups said, “Overall, I think we can make the move a positive experience by utilizing our new central location.”
Photo by Maggie Vancampen / The Louisville Cardinal