Programs & Resources
We work with other offices and student peer educators on Vassar’s First Year program. Designed to introduce new students to academic and co-curricular life, the program offers many opportunities throughout the year for students to engage one another and the campus.
Dialogue and Engagement
The office coordinates several dialogue programs, including the Social Justice Dialogues for students from different backgrounds who meet for a half-day to explore questions of identity and social justice. Through the Campus Life Resource Group (CLRG), we plan Conversation Dinners and the annual All College Days in February as additional dialogue vehicles for all members of the campus community. Occasionally, we offer extended intergroup dialogues and each office also offers dialogues.
Several Campus Life programs integrate principles of social justice, intercultural, and cross-cultural education by engaging students and others in critical discussions about equity and strategies for personal, group, community, and institutional change. One of our goals is to challenge and support all students through learning about the histories and experiences of diverse communities. Each semester, we offer a half-day dialogue retreat entitled Social Justice Dialogues for students interested in learning more about how to become active agents in affecting change. The dialogues are led by two administrators, student leaders and also involves at least one faculty member.
The ALANA Center, Bayit, the LGBTQ Center , and the Women’s Center all provide support to various identity groups and the larger campus community. By building affirming environments and promoting cross-cultural communication, the centers seek to foster pluralism, inclusion, and equity within the Vassar community.
The centers coordinate a wide range of educational programs and resources for students of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer students, and diverse gender communities. Leadership development, advocacy, social justice, and service learning are guiding principles for the resource centers. The centers also network with the larger campus community by working closely with all students, academic departments, and administrative offices.
Leadership and Peer Education
Students play key roles in shaping campus life whether as participants in organizations, discussion facilitators, participants in dialogues, or student staff. The Campus Life and Diversity Office coordinates campus and intercollegiate conferences that provide unique student leadership opportunities and forums for campus engagement.
Through a variety of resources, including the Bias Incident Response Team, the office works closely with other offices, faculty, and students to respond to campus community concerns and situations that impact the quality of campus life. The team consists of administrators, faculty, and students who meet as quickly as possible following an incident to support affected parties and recommend strategies for education and institutional support.
Advising and Advocacy
We work with individual students and student groups to address campus life and community concerns—whether they are personal, inter-group, or institutional. Anyone can contact the office or staff members for assistance or to make referrals.
Founded in 2000, the Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS) is composed of 27 selective liberal arts colleges and small universities dedicated to promoting high achievement, leadership and personal satisfaction of students on member campuses, with a focus on promoting success among students of color. CHAS develops programs to engage the whole student academically, socially and culturally. CHAS is supported by its members and is hosted by Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.