Stevenson Union is filled with organizations and people who are here to help and understand students. Last Wednesday, the doors of each center housed in the SU were wide open for the progressive open house event. This was a chance to see all the resources the SU has to offer.
Platters of food from desserts to quesadillas were served from open door to open door. Representatives from each center spent several hours hanging out with students who drifted in and out. Each center is different and represents how diverse SOU’s community is.
The Leadership Center houses the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University, which is the student government, as well as most of the student unions: OSPIRG, Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Hawaii Club and Gender Sexuality Union are just a few.
Student body President Monique Teal and Vice President Liz Tafeen have an office in the center. Also associated with the center is Colleen Sollars, the student advocate for SOU. Over a table full of pound cake and cookies she told students about her position. Sollars is the student in charge of mediating for her fellow students to the administration, in whatever form that takes. In her words, she is “someone on your side.”
Another member of ASSOU hanging out at the dessert table was Phil Shilts, director of communication. He and other ASSOU members have been working closely with the Ashland City Council on the new taser policy for the Ashland police.
The students and staff working in the Leadership Center are trying to make a difference, but more importantly, as Shilts said, “The Leadership Center is fun.”
The MRC is open to all students. The latest endeavor in the center is the attached library and the chill-out room. Marvin Woodard, coordinator for MRC, lives in the library for now, using it as his office.
Surrounded by dolls and art from around the world, Woodard praises the progress that has been made,
“This space is going to be for everyone,” Woodard said.
The chill-out room, complete with chairs and a CD player, doubles as the Native American Student Union office. Co-chair Jessie Hecocta was busy talking to students while everyone enjoyed veggies and dip and quesadillas.
The MRC provides a large computer lab as well as free printing for any students.
Downstairs is the Women’s Resource Center (WRC). It was founded in 1976 and has been actively trying to improve the lives of women in the community by putting on events such as the Vagina Monologues and supporting awareness months, including breast cancer awareness month. The center also has five programs that vary year to year depending on what the staff feels is most important to help create a model of service and action for women. These programs are titled: Changing Women, New Era, Circle of Fire, S.A.F.E. and Vivacious voices.
The QRC and the WRC are operated by a staff of students and volunteers who are ready and available for students in need of their support. The centers provide a comfortable environment for all and are dedicated to the improvement of the lives of those who need their help.
The QRC provides a safe place for individuals who seek acceptance to make connections and be part of a community that is willing to support each other. The center has a staff of understanding people that are al ways ready to talk and listen.
Janelle Wilson, coordinator of the QRC, said “We are here to help guide students to success.”
Both centers work together and are located next door to each other in the basement of the SU.
These are only a few of the resources available to students in the SU. All students are always warmly invited to roam around the building and check out the many opportunities for being involved.