By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri‑Cities
RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri‑Cities will host a grand opening for its new MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion from 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 12, in Floyd 140 on campus.
Like the pieces that comprise its name, MOSAIC, it will be a home to student resources to enhance equity and inclusion, a place to discover more about various cultures and a central location for students to dialogue and learn about current social issues.
“The MOSAIC Center is a success story of student advocacy and demonstrates the power of effective partnerships between students, faculty and staff who are all working toward a common goal of creating a more inclusive campus,” student affairs coordinator Kristine Cody said.
First introduced by Israa Alshaikhli, former president of the Associated Students of WSU Tri‑Cities, the project is coming to fruition under the leadership of Savanna Navarro Kresse, current vice president for ASWSUTC. The students worked directly with university administration, faculty and staff to start conversations on the importance of having a center focused on equity and inclusion, what that center could look like and how they could make the center a reality.
Last spring, WSU Tri‑Cities held a soft opening for the center, welcoming student input on what they would like to see in the center. Students, staff and faculty have since taken those comments to open a facility designed to be an open place for all. Based on this feedback, students will have access to workshops on social issues, a library on equity and diversity topics, book clubs, documentary showings on diversity-related topics, advocacy opportunities, celebrations and more.
“This is a place where no matter your race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, sexuality, or gender, you are fully welcomed,” Kresse said. “A place where we can feel comfortable conversing in our first language. A place where we can wear our traditional cultural attire without being stereotyped. This center is open to all students as a way to learn and grow together—a place where we can all authentically be ourselves.”
The grand opening will feature opening remarks at 10:15 a.m. from Kresse; WSU Tri‑Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes; Jill Creighton, WSU dean of students and associate vice president for campus life; and Jaime Nolan, WSU associate vice president for community, equity and inclusive excellence. Light refreshments will be available throughout the day, and members of the public will have the opportunity to get a close look at what is offered through the newly designated space and center.
Haynes said she is proud of the way students worked together with the faculty, staff and administration to make their center a reality.
WSU Tri‑Cities is the most diverse campus in the Washington State University system. The student population comprises more than 40 percent minority students and more than 40 percent of students are the first in their families to attend college.
“This is a space that will be representative of our student population and our WSU Tri‑Cities community long into the future,” Haynes said.