There are three places you are most likely to find me on campus when I do not have classes. The first place is in my room, probably watching marathon of Real Housewives or Love and Hip Hop Hollywood. The second is HawksNest ordering the same thing; a cheeseburger with american cheese on the top and bottom with raw onions (yumm). The third is at the Center for Intercultural Advancement.
Places like the Center for Intercultural Advancement are the reason why Wagner has become my home away from home. I have met some of my closest friends and the most helpful people in there. It is safe to say without the Center, I would have been a lost puppy at Wagner.
First and foremost the center is an intimate space for students like me; far away from home, lost and just needing help getting used to a new country and environment.
It is a space for international students, students of colour and basically anybody interested in a different culture. Can I just emphasize how less of an office it feels like each time I step into it? I literally always pop in there for the most random of conversations with either the Director, Ellen Navarro (who i jokingly call my 'Wagner Mummy') or the student workers, who are mostly international students too. The endless candy or some of type of food that is always there doesn't make it easier for me to leave either.
If you also love traveling, just like I do, and would be interested in studying abroad, whether it be a full semester or something short term, this is the place to go. The Center helps you pick a country, pick your courses and plan your trip. Knowing Ellen, everything would be in place before you even step your feet at the airport. Almost every country you could possibly want to study at, Ellen will most likely get you there.
The center also deals with PA students trips such as clinicals, as well as students and faculty members that have to go on trips.
Even if you have thought of thought of just starting a new club or hosting and need funding, the Center is the place to go. It co-sponsors events with clubs like Black Student Union (which I'm PR of) and My Sistah's Keeper (a club ran my some of my favourite women on campus), the sororities and fraternities. The international cafe, is another club to have come out of the center too!
Another thing the center does that is my personal favourite is the diversity programs they run on campus. These ranges from social justice dialogues, to social identification and how to help navigate that. A recent social justice dialogue focused on Eric Garner, a black man who died while under a choke hold by NYPD officers, here on Staten Island.
The center also host theme months such as the LGBQT month, African American month and Women's month (definitely looking forward to this). Most importantly, the centre helps in raising awareness about diversity at Wagner college and also breaking stereotypes people might have of certain cultures.
So if you ever feel like you need to visit somewhere different, learn something different but most importantly, need a space to just be yourself regardless of race and culture, the center of Intercultural advancement is the place for you. And lets not forget you can always find me there of course.