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OSA and SJRC collaborate for activities at Mills

The brand new Center is located in Rothwell Center where they continue the work of both the SJRC and OSA. (Abbey Flentje)
The brand new Center is located in Rothwell Center where they continue the work of both the SJRC and OSA. (Abbey Flentje)

Over the summer, Mills College opened a new office that combines two significant organizations at Rothwell Center: the Office of Student Activities (OSA) and the Social Justice Resource Center (SJRC).

According to an Aug. 21 email from Dean of Students Dr. Chicora Martin, the OSA and SJRC formed a new office under the name of the Center for Student Leadership, Equity, and Excellence [the Center]. The OSA organizes student activities and events, as well as manages clubs and organizations on campus. The SJRC provides resources for students in building and working with the school’s mission involving social justice.

After working together in the past, the two offices have decided to combine in order to work on social justice principles together, according to Dr. Martin. It was announced that Sabrina Kwist, the former director of Engagement and Inclusion, would be the new Assistant Dean of Students and lead the Center’s team. Also, newcomer Remi Harada became the director of the Center after this summer.

While the Center has started its work together, “the goal in moving forward is to ensure more opportunities for social justice education, new programming and first year support, while continuing the great club/organization advising and support for students of color, LGBTQ students, student parents, resumer students, international and other students who look to these spaces and staff as home,” Dr. Martin said.

Harada expressed the positive directions and intentions in bringing the SJRC and OSA together as the Center.

“It was an intentional effort to bring the two departments together,” Harada said. “With it being under the Center, it will allow us to have all of our initiatives streamlined so we can be more intentional about everything that is being done.”

Sascha Brown, the new program coordinator of the Center, also believes that having these two centers work together would be cohesive, allowing the core of social justice into the activities, programs and resources on campus. Brown works closely with Kwist to bring larger events to campus, such as the event Hip Hop 4 Change.

“Now when you come to the Center, you can get resources for all the things,” Brown said. We would like students to think of us as a one stop shop that is here to support your growth as a scholar.”