Campus office merger to benefit students

Price Kramer, biology major, inquires about diversity on Washburn’s Campus. Effective this month, Student Services and Diversity and Inclusion combined into a single entity.

Alex Hounchell

The Student Services and Diversity and Inclusion offices have been combined under one banner, University Diversity and Inclusion.

Ultimately, they will be in the same location and have the same point of contact, but now they will be a single office.

“My hope is that this will help students who have needs that could be met from either office,” said Johnathan Hart, history major senior and veteran.

Previously, Student Services was in charge of administrating Veteran programs, along with receiving and approving accommodation requests. Student Services has a wealth of other opportunities such as mock interviews, assistance with resumes and career services.

They will continue to offer these services within University Diversity and Inclusion. Kim Sturgeon, former program coordinator of Student Services, has been promoted to assistant director of the new office.

“The office of University Diversity and Inclusion provides programs, resources and support to create an inclusive working and learning environment at Washburn University,” said Danielle Dempsey-Swopes director of University Diversity and Inclusion.

The new office will continue to assist in the retention and graduation of students of color, students who identify as LGBTQ+, students with disabilities, veterans and nontraditional students.

“The office and staff develop programs to help everyone in the university community discuss and explore issues related to culture, bias, stereotypes and cultural lenses including ability, ethnicity, gender race, religion, social class, political affiliation, national origin, sexual orientation and other multicultural issues,” Dempsey-Swopes said.

This is one of the points of overlap between the two departments. Student Services and University Diversity and Inclusion were working towards the same goal. They continue to do so within the same office.

“We are changing the name to better reflect our broad definition of diversity and adding programs and resources that will benefit the entire campus community,” Dempsey-Swopes said.

Dempsey-Swopes was the director of University Diversity and Inclusion, and she will continue to be the director after the merger.

“I am a student teacher for WU101 and it is baffling how many students don’t know about certain programs that could help them,” Hart said.

He continued with examples of how Student Services can help students. He explained that if a student is unable to take notes, Student Services can assist in finding someone who can help take notes for them.

There will no longer be a Student Services department, but their services will be absorbed by the new office. If you believe that any of the services of the University Diversity and Inclusion office could be beneficial to you, then you can call 785-670-1629. Or you can visit Morgan Hall 105.

“I feel like people sometimes come to campus, they go to the one stop, and they don’t realize there’s an entire plethora of opportunity just a few steps away,” Hart said.