Imagine a comfortable spot to catch your breath during the school day. Putting equity, diversity and inclusion into action, the Intersection promotes community in welcoming physical spaces at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Fond du Lac and Fox Cities campuses.
Not only for students, staff and faculty are welcome at the former bookstore space in University Commons Room 154 at Fond du Lac and in Room 1221 next to the Solutions Center at the Fox Cities campus. The spaces provide an especially supportive environment for students from historically excluded and/or structurally marginalized groups. The Intersection also serves as a great educational space.
“We want to make connections with students and between students, as we’re coming out of the pandemic,” said Interim University Diversity Officer Alicia Johnson.
The spaces are open and available (as much as possible between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) to provide comfortable, friendly places for students. There is free grab and go coffee, water, snacks and candy to help get through the school day.
Celebrating all identities
First-year student Ava Rusch works as a student assistant at the Intersection in Fond du Lac.
“It’s important for people to know they have a place they can feel loved and supported. They don’t have to fit neatly into one identity to do that,” Rusch said, adding that the Intersection allows people to “take a break from people who are not cool with them being different.”
The Intersection offers de-stressing activities, including coloring, crafts, puzzles, games and movies. It provides safer sex supplies and free period products. The spaces provide connections to campus and community resources, including housing options and jobs and mental health services.
Hunter Adams of Milwaukee, a third-year student at Fond du Lac, said she usually keeps to herself at school. The Intersection offers a great place to meet new people.
Adams will major in art and graphic design and hopes to one day own her own company.
Tavion Brown, who also arrived on the Fond du Lac campus from Milwaukee, said the new space is comfortable and looks nice. The Intersection opened last year in a tucked-away location far from the Commons.
“I can see where more students would be curious and think they’d like to come in,” Brown, an aspiring business and accounting major said. “You can come and spend time with people you like.”
UWO Chancellor Andy Leavitt said it’s important for students to know they are supported and belong. He applauded the bright new central location on the Fond du Lac campus.
Johnson said an invite to explore the Intersection is open to all.
That message was evident on colorfully frosted cookies at the recent Fond du Lac open house with the words, “You belong here!”