Former Dewey Women’s Center now Student Hub: “Making college less complicated”

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Former Dewey Women’s Center now Student Hub: “Making college less complicated”

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The student hub is a source of information and guidance for students to simplify the process of acquiring information about the services and offices available to them.

The new initiative was created by NVU-Johnson senior Seana Rowell and supervised by Associate Dean of Students Michele Whitmore.

The Student Hub is located in the former Women’s Center, as well as in Dewey Hall, room 149.
It is the result of Rowell’s frustration with being unable to reach a necessary office in a timely manner. According to Rowell, “It sort of came to be when I had something that I needed to do in a short timeframe, I was really crunched for time and had an administrative-type errand that I needed to run on campus and I was not sure where I needed to go to get it done,” Rowell said.

“So, I went to one office and realized when I got there that I was in the wrong office. They sent me somewhere else, and then I went to another office and they were like, no, you need to go to a different building, so I went to that building, and then they sent me to another office. Finally, that was the right place.

“I just realized that this is so frustrating, and things should not be this complicated here and I thought, if I am having this much trouble, probably other people are too, and maybe something could be done about this. I started thinking about what could be done, and that is how it started,” Rowell said.

The Student Hub was created to take the guesswork out of which office a student needs to go to or the name of the resource that they need. “The idea is that it is a community place for students,” Rowell said. “It is a place where people can come and find support and guidance and answers to… all sorts of campus questions, information about various offices; definitely those questions about what office should I go to and what person should I talk to, but also information about what happens in various offices.”

Thomas Streeter – Seana Rowell

The Student Hub is not only an informational resource, but an emotional resource as well. Rowell is available to chat with students about the reasons that they may be stressed at a given moment. However, she wants to emphasize that she does not provide mental health counseling or therapy. Situations of that nature can be resolved at the Wellness Center. “I do not do any counseling or therapy of any kind. It is super important that people know that,” Rowell said.

One obvious question raised by the Student Hub’s occupancy in the space just inside the west entrance to Dewey is the fate of its former occupant, the Women’s Center. It was closed, according to Karen Madden, director of Student Support Services, as a matter of pre-emptive action to avoid a potential lawsuit. She had been informed by the Vermont State Colleges legal counsel that the University of Michigan had been successfully sued for discrimination and forced to close their Women’s Center. “That is why we do not have a Women’s Center anymore, because we do not want to get sued,” Madden said.
The new Student Hub is open Tuesday 3 -7 p.m. and Wednesday 2-5 p.m.

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