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OVPDEMA Programs’ relocation weighed in by the staff



300-n-jordan

The OVPDEMA scholarship programs are moving into the Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs building at 300 North Jordan Avenue. The staff members of the building are concerned about organization of the different programs in the space. Madelyn Knight Buy Photos

Several scholarship and student resource programs, once spread throughout campus, have relocated to one building located at 300 N Jordan Ave.

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, or OVPDEMA, is the largest resource for underrepresented students on IU campus. 

The Hudson and Holland Scholarship program, the largest merit-based scholarship program on IU’s campus, has been moved previously from Memorial Hall to the Jordan Avenue location about three years ago. The move was a big change for some programs like the Groups Scholarship Program, a scholarship program for first generation college students as well as those in other underrepresented populations, which had been in Maxwell Hall for 50 years.

The OVPDEMA building was previously the administration building. The administration then left the Jordan Avenue building to Hudson and Holland for about a year and a half. After the end of last semester, the 21st Century Scholar, Groups Scholars Program, Oversees Studies and Scholarship program and Mentoring Services and Leadership Development joined them.

Juan Cano, assistant director of the Groups Scholars program, said at the old location, everyone would have their doors open and people would come in just to study and relax. Since the change, they've seen less of that. 

“We don’t have much face-to-face with them besides them signing in and coming to see us one-on-one,” Cano said. 

Cano wasn’t the only one concerned that the lack of student space will impede OVPDEMA advisers’ abilities to connect with students. 

“My biggest fear has been, where will be the room for students?” Rick Mulcahy , a program and academic adviser in Hudson and Holland, said.  

However, the programs adopted strategies to help combat confusion and chaos like designated waiting rooms on each floor for separate programs.

Contrary to the open space plan of the Groups Scholars programs offices in Maxwell, the Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program used the empty building to create more spaces for students and staff to use. 

Staff members are also concerned about a non-academic feature that most of the programs work to instill in the students’ college experience: an open space for interaction between program members.

“It’s a concern for that community aspect,” Cano said.

Despite the concerns the programs may have about the change, they also have improvements they hope to see with the other programs working in the same spaces. 

Isom said, “We collaborated from afar for a number of different things. Now we can improve our collaborations.”  

The 21st Century Scholarship program, the biggest of all five programs, was previously located in Eigenmann Hall since 2004. Vincent Isom, the director of the program, prefers the Jordan Avenue location because it is close to students and public places on campus.

“We constantly do evaluations and one of the comments always from the students were we were too far,” Isom said. “The building affords us, as far as location, a better opportunity for students to connect with us.”

Members of the program's staff also recognize the benefits of being closer to programs that often share students and goals.

“As the time goes by and we are here together, the synergies will increase which means the benefits to the students will increase,” Isom said.

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