AmeriCorps Spotlight by Teri Seabrook Baldwin, Wallace University
The Baldwin Wallace University (BW) Student Resource Center was opened in the Fall of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior, the David and Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement was investigating ways to support students who had shown need for additional assistance. The pandemic intensified those needs and impacted even more students as everyone was greatly impacted. Working in collaboration with Ohio Campus Compact, the BW Student Resource Center (SRC) was officially opened under the umbrella of the Center for Community Engagement. The function of the SRC is to provide 1:1 support, resources, and referrals to BW students to ensure all students are able to persist and succeed in their academic endeavors.
BW’s Student Resource Center offers robust programs that address food insecurity and equitable resource accessibility. The main program is the Student Emergency Grant program, where students can apply for financial assistance to help alleviate any short-term financial obstacles they may encounter. Many students apply for assistance with transportation, textbook purchasing, and housing assistance. The Campus Plate, Swipe Out Hunger, and Campus Cupboard programs all work to address food insecurity on the Baldwin Wallace Campus. Through these entities, students can receive free meals, free food and small house items, as well as free meal swipes to use at any BW dining area, no strings attached. Additionally, the SRC hosts events, such as pop-up pantries and swipe drives, to spread the word about the resources available to students and to get the support of the entire campus community. Finally, the Beyond BW Fund helps students in their endeavors as they transition beyond by providing financial support to students who need assistance paying for graduate school entrance exams and application fees, or any certification tests.
All programs and initiatives through the BW Student Resource Center were carefully curated to ensure that all students are supported and could benefit. This past year, there has been a concerted effort to engage with the entire campus community to make sure all students are made aware of the resources available to them through faculty and staff workshops and presentations as well as collaborations with other offices, such as the campus library and the Education Department. In the future, the SRC will continue to provide resources to all BW students to support them as they navigate college, as well as expand this office’s presence to engage as many students as possible. Student support is a campus-wide initiative, and the Baldwin Wallace Student Resource Center is always available to advocate for all BW students.