Several student resource centers held open houses during week 0 to welcome students and spread the word about resources on campus. The SOAR Center, Cross Cultural Center, Veteran Services, Health Education Center, and LGBT Resource center were amongst the many offices that opened their doors to Anteaters on Wednesday of week 0.
Though many of these spaces have been at UC Irvine for years, welcome week served as a time for new and returning students to get acquainted with the services and resources that these places can provide.
For some of these centers, the start of the quarter marks a year of difference. After running a student fee initiative in the 2012-13 school year, the SOAR center was faced with an uncertain future in terms of funding. The Save SOAR referendum failed to pass by a mere 55 votes, however, prior to the start of this school year, administration decided to extend funding through 2016. However, given the momentum the initiative received last year, students from the SOAR center are likely run a similar referendum in the near future. The SOAR (Student Outreach and Retention) Center provides students with opportunities to reach out to surrounding communities and assist with their educational career and information on how to get to college, while also providing services for UCI students struggling with grades or looking for resources.
“For us it’s really important that students continue to see SOAR as an information hub, [because] there is no such hub currently that serves students across schools and demographics,” said SOAR Director Graciela Fernandez.
The Veteran Services Center was also fortunate enough to receive additional funds this year, as they recently accepted a $75,000 grant from the Nicholas Endowment. According to Adeli Duron, Director of the Veteran Services Center, the majority of that money will go towards veteran scholarships, and the rest will go towards programs the center can utilize.
The Health Education Center launched its new Wellness Room on Wednesday, as well, which is aimed at creating a safe and relaxing space for students to unwind. The LGBT Resource Center is also celebrating a new addition as they welcome Deejay Brown as their new Program Coordinator. The LGBT center plans to put on a number of new events this year and hopes to reach out to students about their message, “The Center is an open space for diversity regarding all manners of sexuality and gender identity.” Said Kitty Dorchester, a representative of the LGBT Resource Center and Chair of Irvine Queers, “It’s a place for discourse, a safe space from the sometimes harsh climate on campus, in Irvine, and in the larger society. Anyone is welcome regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Further information on the aforementioned resource centers and more can be found on this page.