Keeping it mixed up

Unlike the stereotypical Utah most people think of, the U is filled with people from nearly all backgrounds.

The U administration has shown continuing desire to increase diversity on campus. Offering scholarships for underrepresented students brings diversity to campus and well- established support networks keeps diversity at the U.

Most students are unaware of the network of resources specializing in areas of diversity that are available to students.

Center for Disability Services

Any student with a documented diagnosed disability is eligible for services offered by the Center for Disability Services. Some of the assistance that the center has provided in the past include note-takers, sign-language interpreters for the hearing impaired, having classes rescheduled for students who have mobility issues and extended time for exams. Helping more than 880 students in the 2003-2004 school year, the Center for Disability Services has more than eight full-time professional staff members and more than 100 volunteers. According to Joe Pete Wilson, director of the Center for Disability Services, “At least 250 more students are eligible for [services] but are not connecting with [the center].” Visit the Center for Disability Services in Union Room 162 or go to for additional information.


The Center for Ethnic Student Affairs offers a variety of resources for students of ethnic backgrounds. Located in Union Room 318, CESA offers scholarship information, computer services, tutoring, counseling, academic planning and valuable networking opportunities. The center has five different program coordinators who plan different activities that help to create a more culturally informed campus. Organizations like the Asian American Student Association, Black Scholars United, Inter-Tribal Student Association, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana y Chicano de Aztlan and the Pacific Islanders Student Association are affiliated with CESA. To get involved with CESA or one of the organizations associated with the center, or for more information, visit or call 582-8151.

LGBT Resource Center

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center is a support and advocacy office located in Union Room 317. According to Charles Milne, the interim coordinator, the LGBT Resource Center helps to “integrate social and academic life at the U.” By building a comfortable environment, the center helps students who are questioning or in the process of coming out. The LGBT Resource Center also has a number of programs that the center participates in annually. Pride at the U, National Coming Out Week, World AIDS Day and National Day of Silence are some of the events that volunteers and staff of the center help to coordinate. To join the LGBT Resource Center’s email list or for more information about the services provided by the center, visit

Women’s Resource Center

The Women’s Resource Center fosters an open environment for students, faculty and staff. Counseling, peer support groups, workshops, classes, gender literature and scholarship opportunities are just a few of the services that are accessible through the Women’s Resource Center. The five permanent staff and five advanced graduate student interns provided roughly 400 hours of individual therapy during the 2003-2004 school year as well as offering four different support groups encompassing body politics, relationship separation, a lesbian support group and a general women’s support group. All services provided by the Women’s Resource Center are based on sliding fees. Enrollment for support groups and appointments for counseling sessions are required.

For the 2004-2005 school year, a number of notable programs are being presented by the center. In an effort to construct a more sensitive environment for students who are victims of rape, the center is conducting a 40-hour rape advocacy training in August for faculty and staff. A new piece that is being developed by Kristy Bartley, counseling coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center, will deal with “white privilege.” Bartley explained that people with privilege are often unaware of the advantage they possess. Some of the objectives of the piece are to build a culture in which “people with privilege are working for the good of the whole.” For more information about the programs, services and resources offered by the Women’s Resource Center, go to or visit the Center in Union Room 293.

Approximately 30 student groups associated with the Associated Students of the University of Utah are classified as diversity groups. The scope of the various groups covers a broad spectrum of interests, but most students are unaware that these groups exist.

The Society of Ethnic Student Engineers is one of the groups promoting diversity on campus. Offering valuable networking and scholarship opportunities, the newly formed organization has a membership of about 50 students.

Ryan Yoshida, a member of SESE, said that diversity is highly valued even in groups geared toward ethnic students.

“Everyone can join,” he said.

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