CWU welcomes BIPOC students to campus


Beau Sansom

President Wohlpart socializes at the BIPOC student welcome.

Beau Sansom, Staff Reporter

The Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) hosted a BIPOC Student Welcome event on the President’s Lawn. BIPOC stands for black and indigenous people of color. 

The DEC Student Coordinator, Paige Hall, assisted in the planning of the welcome event. 

“When I first got here, we didn’t have a BIPOC welcome event,” Hall said. “We didn’t have last week’s LGBTQ welcome event. I feel like If we had them when I got here then I would’ve been able to acclimate a little bit easier. If I had been exposed to people who were similar to me and experiencing the same transitional worries that I was at the time.”

President Jim Wohlpart who was in attendance said, “Events like this help follow that culture of belonging.”

Students were able to participate in a variety of lawn games like cornhole and ladder toss and an extra large game of Jenga. 

Another activity available for attendees was a “get to know you” game styled as a bingo card. The card was filled with ice-breaking questions that promoted discussions and debates, such as whether they prefer dogs or cats. 

The event was catered by CWU Dining Service and featured an assortment of various chips, sandwiches, egg rolls and other food options.

Several related organizations made appearances and provided speakers during the event, including but not limited to the Black Student Union, the Wildcat Pantry and the First Generation Student Organization. 

DEC Program Manager, Justin Santoli, said he wanted students to know that there are people at CWU who understand the challenges that BIPOC students face coming into a new environment. 

“Through places like the DEC, we try really hard to build those bridges,” Santoli said. “There is a community here, and the DEC is committed to helping students find that community.” 

“It was really nice to get to meet some new people that are involved in creating diversity at the school,” freshman Karissa Hanzy said. “It’s important to help branch out and make sure that people who are in those communities, like the LGBTQ community from last week and BIPOC … feel welcome and know that there is people like them.”

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  • DEC student employees at the welcome stand, L2R_ Mason Saulsbury, Roberto Chavez, Paige Hall.

  • Students make connections at the BIPOC student welcome.

  • President Wohlpart and event attendees.

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