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Student Affairs partnerships make love visible

The new year is upon us and time is not standing still. I am reminded on a daily basis of the importance of taking time to say thank you and being kind to one another. I hope this new year has been one full of laughter, love, joy and gratitude. As always, I thank you for your support of this great university and our students. Be kind to one another.

All my best,
Willie L. Banks Jr., Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs

Video: Take a tour of Middle Earth Towers with VC Banks »

photo of Dr. Yusef Salaam on stage with lots of people in the audience

Cross-Cultural Center celebrates 45 years of building inclusive communities

Image of Cross-Cultural Center book cover, Celebrating 45 YearsThe Cross-Cultural Center was honored to host Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five to an audience of over 400 guests for its annual Dr. Joseph L. White Lecture as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium.

Attendees had an opportunity to participate in a meet & greet immediately following the lecture. A particularly endearing moment occurred when Ethan Herisse, an undergraduate student at UCI and actor who played young Yusef Salaam in Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us (2019), entered the auditorium and was noticed by Salaam, then ran to the stage where the two shared a warm embrace.

Dr. Salaam's talk was one of several events during the week of January 20 for the campus community to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. Other well-attended events included a day of service event, student activist panel, screening of The North Pole and discussion on activism in the 21st century.

Prior to the lecture, the Cross-Cultural Center staff announced the establishment of the Dr. Joseph L. White Scholarship and introduced the inaugural student-scholars to the audience. More information about the six recipients can be found here.

The Cross-Cultural Center also held a special reception on January 23 to celebrate its 45th anniversary. Guests included current student leaders, alumni, community members, campus partners, former staff and other special guests immediately following the Dr. Joseph L. White Lecture. Highlights included a panel featuring former staff members who reflected on their experience working at the center and a special announcement from UCI Libraries' Special Collections and Archives team regarding the launch of an online portal for the collection of Freedom Train Stories in honor of Dr. Joseph L. White.

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CSWHP partnership advocates building healthy communities

Step Up! UCI program graphicThe Center for Student Wellness & Health Promotion (CSWHP) has partnered with UCI Athletics to address mental health with student-athletes and teams. Two signature programs, the “Step Up UCI! Bystander Intervention Program” and “Behind Happy Faces” are packaged together as mandatory for all teams, alternating between the two each year.

The “Step Up UCI!” program trains and encourages participants to pay more attention to what’s happening around them, recognize issues of concern, and then take an active role to intervene or help someone in need.

The “Behind Happy Faces” program helps students understand the difference between mental health and mental illness (and everything in between), recognize that we are all struggling with something and need care and support, and that there are a variety of resources they can utilize for support. Participants also discuss how to develop personal strategies and coping skills to enhance their own mental health, as well as effective skills and strategies to support someone who may need help.

Because these programs are alternated each year, a student-athlete will experience each program twice, at two different points of their UCI journey, and thus should experience the program from a different lens. This effort has gotten very positive feedback from the student-athletes and has already shown signs of making a difference in how they pay attention and confront issues that concern them, especially when supporting their teammates.

SPOTLIGHT: Student Affairs Employee of the Month Program March 10 - Excellence in Student Affairs Conference: Partnering for a Brilliant Future

Student Affairs Auxiliary Services continues to trailblaze

Student Government Student Media - Please join us in congratulating ASUCI for recently receiving the 2019 Community Partnership Award by the UCI Police Department. This award is in recognition of their exemplary dedication, leadership and outstanding service.

photo of Beyond BurgerDining Services - To continue promoting a true balanced diet, UCI Dining is now offering dedicated vegan/vegetarian-only equipment at The Anteatery and Brandywine, where plant-based food options such as the Beyond Burger and vegan cheese are offered.

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