Lopez: CSU supports self-discovery

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Collegian | Sophia Sirokman

(Graphic illustration by Sophia Sirokman | The Collegian)

Dominique Lopez, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

College is a time for growing, a time for developing, a time when students of all races, genders and ethnicities can come together in one location with the same goal in mind: to discover themselves without the constraints of parental control.

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Here at Colorado State University, that journey of self-discovery is one freshmen know all too well. Thanks to the preexisting knowledge that this journey is something that will happen for new students, the Office of Inclusive Excellence is one of those places where these students can turn in times of need.

With multiple resources accessible to many first-year and older students, these programs were created with the intention of ensuring the journey of self-discovery is one that could be recognized by the students themselves.

The Office of Inclusive Excellence makes it possible for the University to not only have many offices celebrating diversity but to have those offices available to students as they continue to become their truest selves.

These diversity offices are not exclusively based on race and ethnicity: El Centro, the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center, the Black/African American Cultural Center, the Native American Cultural Center, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center, the Pride Resource Center and the Student Disability Center.

“The systems put in place at residence halls for first-year students are also highly important to these students’ journey through self-discovery. Residence halls’ support staff includes resident assistants, the assistant resident director and the resident director, as well as communities within specific halls, like Key Communities.”

Each office is run with the same mission in mind: to provide education, a community and a support system. The offices host events and push to make sure they are finding a way to be a place where students can go for a judgment-free space.

CSU, aside from the Office of Inclusive Excellence, already provides student access to the CSU Health Network Counseling Services as well as communities for first-year students within the residence halls.

The counseling services at CSU are provided to students under the commitment statement that they are a “supportive space in which you can truly be seen and valued in your entirety.”

Not only does CSU offer their counseling services to students, but the psychology department has also begun to provide these services to students so they can continue to be supported during the current high demand the CSU Health Network is facing.

The systems put in place at residence halls for first-year students are also highly important to these students’ journey through self-discovery. Residence halls’ support staff includes resident assistants, the assistant resident director and the resident director, as well as communities within specific halls, like Key Communities.

“CSU created these communities for students, by students, and through that, the accessibility and the discovery that you aren’t alone is the most important step to recognize.”

These students receive not only support from people with experience in college but are also really pushed to create a community within their hall so they can begin to discover themselves while also realizing everyone else is in the same boat.

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These resources are just some of the few that are provided to the students here at CSU; however, they all are extremely important in creating the community feeling CSU provides.

College is scary because, more than anything, it’s an environment that is so new to people. It’s a place where freedom can be explored and a place where young adults can do whatever they want for the first time. Having these support systems is an amazing step toward creating these supportive communities.

CSU created these communities for students, by students, and through that, the accessibility and the discovery that you aren’t alone is the most important step to recognize.

Self-discovery is an immense thing to grapple with, so why not have others to fall back on for support rather than try to fly solo?

Reach Dominique Lopez at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @caffeinateddee6.