Amelia Kunko (email@example.com)
Inclusion and Community Engagement is a new division on campus, which includes the Chaplain’s Office and Religious and Spiritual Life, Community Relations, Disability Services, The Institute for Inclusion and Equity, and UCARE. This division emphasizes the intersection between these offices, and works towards diversity, inclusion, and equity. “Of course, the division will be collaborative, actively working with other departments and offices on campus to ensure we’re offering meaningful support to students, faculty, and staff,” stated Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement, Dr. Heather Lobban-Viravong.
The division of Inclusion and Community Engagement strives to connect several offices within the Ursinus community. “Students should know that this is a new division, one that combines our DEI efforts, civic engagement, religious and spiritual life, and disability services.” In addition to the offices included under the division, Inclusion and Community Engagement will also be working with other departments here at Ursinus. “Of course, the division will be collaborative, actively working with other departments and offices on campus to ensure we’re offering meaningful support to students, faculty, and staff,” said Lobban-Viravong. “The Inclusion and Community Engagement pieces are not mutually exclusive; they work in concert with each other.”
Disability Services is one office undergoing some exciting changes within Inclusion and Community Engagement. Several changes will be seen within the office and students will have the opportunity to get involved in some changes. “First, Dr. Singley will soon seek student input as she considers a new name for the office –one that signals an even further commitment to being inclusive,” Lobban-Viravong exclaimed. There will also soon be an addition to Disability Services. “Second, we will be hiring an Assistant Director of Disability Services to help balance the workload of the office. We hope to have that individual in place by the fall.” The inclusion of Disability Services within Inclusion and Community Engagement will allow students the chance to view disability in a new way. “Although Dr. Singley already takes this approach, I believe that students who work with the Disability Services office will have even more opportunities to examine those intersections between disability and other identities because we are committed to seeing disability within a social model framework,” said Lobban-Viravong. “This will be an important perspective from which to educate the larger campus community.” In addition to these changes and additions to Disability Services under Inclusion and Community Engagement, there will also be a change in location for the office. “We’re actively looking for a new space on campus for the office. I’m hopeful that we’ll identify a space very soon.”
These changes to Disability Services and other offices under Inclusion and Community Engagement work towards providing students and the Ursinus community with new and beneficial opportunities. “I’m excited for this new chapter of Disability Services on campus, and for the division as a whole. Although some students might come to the division to access a specific service, they should know that they will be supported by an entire team,” concluded Lobban-Viravong.