UNLV takes the wraps off this week on a new one-stop multicultural resource center that’s intended to serve one of the most diverse student populations in the country.
The Intersection officially opens its doors Friday in a hard-to-miss spot on the first floor of the student union.
Longtime UNLV administrator Harriet Barlow heads the center, which was more than a year in planning. She said she envisions The Intersection offering assistance in navigating academics and campus life to minority students and those who are the first in their families to go to college.
"What we wanted to be able to do was to develop a center where not only students could gather but also a center that would have resources and initiatives that would assist them with their academic pursuits," Barlow said.
At UNLV, nearly 60 percent of undergraduates say they belong to a racial or ethnic minority and almost a third are first-generation college students.
"We don't proport to be able to solve everything, but certainly we do proport to be able to connect students to the right people who can help them solve or navigate the university," Barlow said.
Barlow said she wants to enlist the entire campus to create a center that encourages “difficult dialogues” and speaking to those outside of “our own siloed community, but as a UNLV community.”
“What that means is being able to acknowledge that people have differing opinions, differing experiences, and lived experiences, even if you can’t change somebody’s mind,” Barlow said.
"The Intersection has played a very important part personally for me to organize as well as spend the time listening to students," Micajah Daniels, a UNLV undergrad, said.
She said she learned through her classes at the university that she could be an agent of change and The Intersection is helping her realize that effort.
Harriet Barlow, executive director of The Intersection; Micajah Daniels, UNLV undergraduate, and Intersection supporter
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