Being a student of color at a predominantly white university can be overwhelming. I, myself, often struggle to find my place on campus and to be in a community with “my people.” But fear not! UW-Whitewater has been intentional in advocating for diversity and inclusion across campus. There are many resources on campus that are available for PoC! Even being in Whitewater for only a semester, I have learned to navigate my way around campus. Most importantly, I have discovered resources specifically catering towards students of color!
1. Kaleidoscope Students of Color Group Therapy: For Mental Health Needs
The University Health & Counseling Services at Ambrose Center offers group therapy for students of color from counselors of color. Amanda Isunza, a mental health counselor, facilitates discussions on the struggles faced by students of color on campus, such as impostor syndrome, trying to prove one’s self, and engaging in uncomfortable discussions with white folks. These meetings happen once a week on the second floor of Ambrose Health Center and are free of charge! For more information, contact Amanda Isunza at IsunzaA09@uww.edu or call 262-472-1300 to set up an appointment.
2. McNair Scholars Program: For Post-Graduate Needs
The McNair Scholars Program advocates for diversity in research and the academe through preparing undergraduate students for postgraduate studies. If you are either low-income and first generation, or self-identify as a member of groups underrepresented in graduate education (African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and American Pacific Islander), this program is right for you. McNair scholars are given the chance to be funded for graduate school applications, academic conferences, and intensive research presentation opportunities. Mentors are also paired with the scholars to oversee the research! For more information, visit http://www.uww.edu/sdes/diversity-programs/mcnair-scholars or go to the McNair Office at McCutchan Hall 219.
3. Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant: For Financial Needs
The Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant supports undergraduate minority students of African-American, Latino, Native American, and Southeast Asian (specifically Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Hmong) heritage by giving away $1500 – $2500 scholarships to those who qualify. This grant aims to increase retention rates of students from underrepresented minority groups. The minimum grade requirement is a 2.0 G.P.A! For more information, visit https://www.uww.edu/sdes/scholarships-grants#lawton-undergraduate-minority-retention-grant, contact firstname.lastname@example.org through email, or call their office at 262-472-4656.
4. Intervarsity Asian American Life Group & Black Campus Ministry: For Spiritual Needs
If you are looking for a community to explore faith with, UW-Whitewater’s Intervarsity is the place for you. This interdenominational, faith-based, student-led ministry group advocates for diversity and inclusion through reconciliation in niche ministries. It is one of the best places to explore one’s spiritual life without fear of judgment! For more information, visit https://uwwintervarsity.org/life-groups or contact Anabel Vuong of Asian American IV at VoungAC05@uww.edu or Michala King of Black Campus Ministry at KingMR18@uww.edu.
5. Laurentide’s DuBois Library: For Academic Needs
The Race and Ethnic Studies department is housed on the fourth floor of Laurentide, and has the DuBois Library open for students to study and relax in. There are books you can borrow and resources you can utilize to further enhance your learning experience. I definitely recommend this place because not a lot of students think about Laurentide as a place to study, but if you want your peace and quiet, this place is for you! For more information, contact Mary Alkons, the Academic Department Associate of Women’s and Gender Studies at 262-472-1042.
6. Organizations: For Social Needs
If you need a community to identify with, UW-Whitewater has organizations that specifically cater towards cultural and racial empowerment!
Southeast Asian Organization – SAO@uww.edu
“We are a Southeast Asian interest group. Our mission is to promote unity, culture and education through our activities, events, and fundraisers. Some of our events include eggroll fundraising, lock-ins at the Williams center, the Culture show and much more.”
TIFU Cultural Ensemble – email@example.com
“The purposes of TIFU shall be the organization, management, promotion and support of African American arts and related programs. Its activities shall be primarily educational, literary and artistic in nature.”
Black Student Union – firstname.lastname@example.org
“We, the Black students of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater associate ourselves for the purpose of motivating and retaining students on campus, coordinate activities to strengthen cultural awareness; provide assistance to the development and utilization of our skills to the extent that we can become a professionally organized body of students on this campus to deal with social, cultural and educational problems.
Mixed Race Student Union – email@example.com
“The purpose of the Mixed-Race Student Union (MXD) is to create a space for individuals who identify as biracial/multiracial/mixed race/multi-ethnic/transracial adoptees, and/or aspiring allies and advocates for mixed race students. Additionally, the purpose of MXD is to promote multiracial awareness at UW-Whitewater through education, support, and social events.”
Latinos Unidos – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Latinos Unidos strives to unite the Latinos on campus and UW-W community, by supporting and assisting them to work together as ONE. We promote Culture, Unity, Education and Political Awareness.”
DREAM Scholars & Colleagues – email@example.com
“Our vision is to assist current and potential students who fall under the DREAMers category. In part, a DREAMer refers to an undocumented youth of good moral character, who has graduated from an US high school or has an equivalent education (GED), arrived to the US as a minor, and has lived long enough in the US to assimilate the American culture as their own .”
International Student Association – firstname.lastname@example.org
“We want to get international students exposed to American culture and people while celebrating our own cultures. We want to create a place where you can make new friends from around the world and feel at home.”
These are some of the resources that can be utilized during your stay on campus. Utilize them. Find your place. There are countless opportunities that are waiting for you! May you be reminded of the importance of your existence inside campus. May knowing that make you feel empowered always.