A. Ray Olpin University Union

The University of Utah

A photo of the Union in fall.

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    CESA: Promoting a Safe & Welcoming Campus Environment

    Established in the early 1970s as the Minority Center, the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs (CESA) is a resource center for students – primarily underrepresented students of color. The office has grown significantly and continues to expand its resources for our students.

    CESA has evolved from three part-time advisors to a vibrant high-volume student support center with over nine full-time staff, and three graduate assistants. It also employs numerous students as peer mentors, tutors, and office assistants. The space also includes a computer lab, a student lounge, and a student meeting space. CESA offers a variety of services to support and retain students, including the Second-Year Experience Program, Famtorship for Social Justice Program, LORDE Scholars, and the Transfer Program.

    The Second Year Experience Program supports students by creating professional networks with graduates & alumni, guidance, and support in selecting a major, preparing for a career path, connecting to resources on campus, and even promoting self-exploration of identity, values, and life goals.

    The Famtorship for Social Justice Program is designed to connect undergraduate students with like-minded scholars who will help them achieve their academic and career goals. Mentors may include staff member, graduate student, alumni, or community leader professional.

    The LORDE (Leaders of Resilience and Diverse Excellence) Scholars Program is named after the great author, a scholar of color, and activist for social justice and LGBTQ rights – Audre Lorde. The program allows students to connect with resources and opportunities across campus, including mentorship opportunities, leadership development, financial literacy, acculturation, service and internships, research, and career readiness.

    Starting this fall, the Transfer Diversity Scholars Program will offer mental health support in partnership with the University Counseling Center. The purpose of these mental health support groups are for student groups to build better relationships, and forging a strong sense of belonging/community by discussing stigmas, deficits, and dealing with microaggressions.

    CESA is located in the Union’s Student Involvement Wing right across the hallway from ASUU in Suite 235. Stop by CESA and learn more about their services, friendly staff, and efforts to advocate for underrepresented students across campus. You can also visit their website at diversity.utah.edu and subscribe to their monthly newsletter!

    Written By:
    Jose Morales Diaz

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