A mural by local artist Hamilton Glass sets a welcoming tone 
in the new multicultural student space in Whitehurst Hall.
Photograph by Jamie Betts

Quite a space

February 1, 2022

Students

To get to her new office on the second floor of Whitehurst Hall in the fall, Tina Cade walked down a renovated corridor that told the story of UR’s growing inclusivity. It housed the offices of her colleagues in the newly formed Student Center for Equity and Inclusion, which she oversaw as director and associate vice president for student development until her retirement in February. 

One colleague was a senior associate director focused on meeting the needs of students of color. Another was an associate director focused on programming for first-generation and low-income students. A third was an associate director for LGBTQ campus life.

Other offices were awaiting their first occupants. The university was conducting searches for new positions that will expand the SCEI’s capacity to serve Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Latinx students.

The SCEI results from the merger of Multicultural Affairs and Common Ground. The two offices worked together to identify shared goals, programs, resources, and services.

“By merging our two offices, we were able to combine our strengths and offer the most effective support for underserved students,” Cade said.

“Student” is intentionally the first word of the new center’s name, and the SCEI’s layout reflects that. The space offers an expanded LGBTQ lounge and student office space for the Race and Racism Project. It also includes a multicultural student space — something students strongly advocated for.

“To me, making space is the simplest display of love,” said Anthony Lawrence, president of the Richmond College Student Government Association and an advocate for the multicultural space. “It makes others feel valued and lets voices be heard.”