March 08, 2021

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Lounge—a resource that welcomes the entire Hampden-Sydney College student body and campus community—debuted in September.

The Diversity and Inclusion Lounge - red and black wallsPandemic-necessitated precautions have certainly altered the social and programmatic landscape at Hampden-Sydney this year, but even amidst these challenges, students and members of the community have enjoyed gathering responsibly and engaging with important topics in a new lounge that opened on campus in September.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Lounge debuted last fall as an extension of the H-SC Office of Equity and Inclusion. Located in the lower level of Venable Hall, the DEI Lounge was established as a resource for the entire student body and campus community. The creation of the lounge is one of several H-SC initiatives to better meet the needs of underrepresented student populations and was partially funded through College alumni and friends’ contributions to  The Diversity and Inclusion Fund

Throughout the year, the lounge has enabled the Office of Equity and Inclusion to offer workshops and programs on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics; provide resources and expertise for students, faculty, and staff interested in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their academic work; and offer advising, mentoring, and advocacy to diversity-oriented student organizations, as well as to any individual students.

The DEI Lounge will foster a welcoming community for all where diverse experiences and perspectives are valued and dedication to the understanding of culture is essential.

John Hollemon, Dean of Inclusive Excellence

students playing cards in the DEI Lounge“The DEI Lounge is dedicated to creating a haven of respect, providing education, and developing cultural competency,” says Dean of Inclusive Excellence John Hollemon.  “Additionally, the DEI Lounge will foster a welcoming community for all where diverse experiences and perspectives are valued and dedication to the understanding of culture is essential.”

This lounge also builds on the work of H-SC’s Minority Student Union and Unity Alliance and their longstanding commitment to both strengthen the College’s brotherhood and ensure that every student thrives at Hampden-Sydney. The College is committed to providing a space that not only encourages Black and LGBTQ student leaders and organizations to sustain their work, but also a space that celebrates their identities and accomplishments.

Features of the the DEI Lounge include a Social Justice Library, the Tiger Resource Closet, and a meeting space that can be reserved for student club meetings, presentations, group study sessions, or used on a walk-in basis. The Social Justice Library has a growing collection of books and documentaries on a wide range of diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. Books can be checked out, while documentaries and streamed content can be viewed in the lounge area. And the Tiger Resource Closet provides access to business attire such as jackets and ties for students preparing for job interviews or academic presentations.

Students and employees wishing to host a workshop, event, or meeting that pertains to the mission of the DEI Lounge – or those who would like to study, relax, or socialize in the lounge during its hours of operation – may contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion about accessing the space.

community members gathering and talking in the DEI Lounge

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