On Monday, Sept. 18, Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley announced the addition of Demetrius J. Colvin to the Student Affairs team as Director of Wesleyan’s new Student Resource Center.
Initially prompted by a proposal developed last year by the Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, the new Student Resource Center provides a centralized space where students can advocate and learn about diversity and inclusion.
“I came to Wesleyan because I was inspired by how the students advocated for the creation of the Resource Center and how the staff and faculty came together with the students to develop a thoughtful and integrated plan for the vision of the center,” Colvin wrote in an email to The Argus. “While I have a ton of ideas and perspectives to share with this community, that means nothing if the stakeholders in this community doesn’t have a realistic vision and goal for itself. This desire for and commitment to developing a more integrated and responsive approach to diversity and inclusion on campus is ultimately what drew me to this position.”
Colvin comes to Wesleyan from Macalester College, where he worked as an assistant director of the Lealtad-Suzuki Center for Multicultural Life, and has previously worked as a coordinator of the Multicultural Resource Center at Amherst College. He acquired his bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Case Western and has a Master of Education in counseling from the University of Maryland, College Park.
“Working with students, faculty, and staff on diversity and inclusion initiatives at predominantly white, elite, private liberal arts institutions for the last six years has allowed me to develop critical skills in promoting collaboration and dialogue far beyond conversations people would consider to be typical ‘diversity’ topics,” Colvin wrote. “I am excited by the opportunity to aid the students, faculty, and staff at Wesleyan prioritize psychosocial connection, collective responsibility, and inter-subjectivity as prerequisites for personal achievement and success.”
Colvin expressed his conviction that Wesleyan has all the talent, motivation, ingenuity, and wholeheartedness to continue to make strides as a community. As the director of the Resource Center, Colvin wants to be a cheerleader, coach, connector, and counselor for students and faculty alike.
“[My goal is to gain] any supportive role that I am able to inhabit to build the capacity of the students, faculty, and staff at Wesleyan to (a) see similarities in each other’s experiences, interests, and values, (b) see the best in their own potential to develop new insights, skills, and attitudes, (c) understand and appreciate differences, contradictions, and ambiguities within oneself as well as amongst others,” Colvin wrote.
The Resource Center will formally open on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“We will be engaging the community for suggestions, advice, and insights about what they want to see in the center, how they want to engage with the center, and what programs and services the center should be collaborating with at Wesleyan,” Colvin wrote about the formal opening. “You can also expect me cooking up something to share with everyone!”
Kaye Dyja can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.