Hello everybody, I am the head of the ASWWU Diversity and Wellness department. The role of diversity and wellness is very broad. I do things like reach out to campus clubs and groups, help make connections for planning events for the different heritage months, work with the Health and Wellness Center to spread awareness of wellness resources for both students and faculty, and collaborate with other ASWWU departments, just to name a few of my responsibilities.
Some specific things I am excited about for this year are working with The Atlas to create special drinks to celebrate each heritage month, helping the Health and Wellness Center promote five small groups such as yoga and coffee chats at The Atlas, and working with AGA to put on a women’s fair in the Conard courtyard. Diversity and wellness is a very comprehensive department. We want to promote diversity, inclusion, and health for all students at Walla Walla University.
I am a senior health administration major and the reason that I feel very passionate about my job is because of my background. I am a Chinese international student who didn’t grow up with a Christian background. My family is Buddhist, but I grew up atheist. I went to Auburn Adventist Academy and during a mission trip to Belize, I was helping to do infrastructure work and teach kids. These kids didn’t have anything, but every night during worship they had the purest joy. I knew there was something bigger going on, so I got baptized during my senior year in high school.
Because of my background, I relate to so many people like Adventist Colleges Abroad students, student missionaries, and students who are from other parts of the U.S. (or “minority cultures”). Everybody can be an international student, and everybody needs to know how to deal with unfamiliar situations. I want to bring inclusivity to the definition of international students. I also want to encourage people that there is nothing wrong with their accent and that it doesn’t matter where they are from because they have an amazing story to tell. We at ASWWU are here to listen to people’s stories.
Diversity can fall under many different categories. It’s not just race, but gender, ability, areas of study, religions, and much more. Everyone is valuable and everyone needs to remember that they have an influence.
People come here to WWU for different reasons, but we as a student body have one purpose — to be part of the WWU community and to make this place our new home. As the diversity and wellness officer, I look forward to helping every student feel at home at WWU.