The Campus Life and Diversity Office directs programs and student life services to build inclusive and affirming campus environments for all students by developing co-curricular resources that contribute to the intellectual and community life of the college.
We strives to enhance the quality of campus life for all students by advancing Vassar’s mission to provide a socially responsible and inclusive education. We promote affirming communities, equity, social justice education, global citizenship, cultural pluralism, and spiritual exploration through a variety of resources: the ALANA Cultural Center to support students of color, International Student Services, the LGBTQ Center, Religious and Spiritual Life resources, the Women’s Center, campus dialogues across difference and community, and first year student engagement resources.
The Campus Life team works in close collaboration across offices, with faculty, and other administrative resources to foster inclusive learning and living environments as valuable components of a liberal arts education for Vassar students.
The ALANA Center provides myriad resources and programs to enhance the campus life and academic experiences of African–American/Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students. The center provides a comfortable gathering space for student organizations that support students of color and offers opportunities for leadership development, intra–cultural and cross–cultural dialogues, lectures, big sister/big brother and alumnae/i mentoring programs. The center also provides resources for interacting with various communities in Poughkeepsie and surrounding areas, cultural journals/newsletters, educational videos, career development, scholarship and fellowship information, and a computer lab.
The Office of International Services offers a full range of resources for international students and scholars, including advice and assistance in visa, immigration, tax, employment, cultural and general matters. The office seeks to support internationals in adjusting to and embracing a new culture and also to involve and engage all members of the campus community in events, workshops, and other opportunities to share the wealth of global perspectives and experiences our campus enjoys.
The LGBTQ Center, located in College Center 213, is a place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and ally students to relax, socialize and learn. The center hosts discussions, lectures, social events; provides meeting space for various student organizations; and has a robust library of LGBTQ–related books.
The Women’s Center, located in College Center 235, offers a lounge space and programming on various components of gender equity, women’s leadership, empowerment and health. The Women’s Center Student Advisory Board—which consists of 8 to 10 female–identified student leaders—acts as a think tank to the center, helping to devise new programs and initiatives.
The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (RSL) oversees, advises, and supports a wide range of religious and civic communities and initiatives on campus and plays an important role as a college liaison to the mid–Hudson Valley community. RSL staff members are available for pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance for any concern or question students may have. The advisor to Jewish students and part–time affiliate advisors serve the Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and InterVarsity communities on campus. We are located in the Chapel tower and basement, as well as at the Bayit, Vassar’s home of Jewish campus life, at 51 Collegeview Avenue, and provide programming and support for 10 different student religious groups at Vassar.
Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT)
The office also coordinates the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT), a resource for responding to student crises and incidents that may disrupt the community or endanger students. The associate dean of the college for campus life and diversity coordinates the response team and, when possible, convenes the BIRT within 24 hours to determine initial steps and to identify additional offices or members from the campus community who can assist with the college's response.