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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Warrior Cross Cultural Center Provides Safe Space for Students

Inclusive+flags+and+oversized+bean+bag+chairs+welcome+students+upon+arrival+to+the+WCCC.
Kristin Platts

Inclusive flags and oversized bean bag chairs welcome students upon arrival to the WCCC.

Knowing where to turn for help with paperwork or general questions can be intimidating for undocumented college students. As an undocumented student herself, Juanita Tamaya (sophomore, Sociology), a student assistant for Undocumented Student Services, knows the feeling first-hand. The process has been easier though, thanks to the resources offered by the Undocumented Student Services at the Warriors Cross Cultural Center, located on the second floor of the newly remodeled Vasche Library.
Help for undocumented students like Tamaya is just one of the many services available through the WCCC. The center offers a wide array of social justice and inclusivity resources such as diversity and allay training, a social justice library, panel discussions and workshops, LGBTQ+ resources and more.
The vision of the WCCC, according to their website, is to empower the community by educating students, campus staff and faculty and community partners with the goal of creating an inclusive and socially just living and learning environment on campus.
That mission is one Sasha Thompson (junior, Communication Studies) strives to adhere to as a social media and content creator student assistant for the WCCC. 
“What we’re trying to do is to really be here for the whole student body and kind of focus more on the mental quality, especially after COVID, and just finding that community, and that sense of belonging on campus, that safe space,” she said.  
Thompson said that while the WCCC is a small space, she feels like it’s such a big part of the campus.
“Even though it’s such a small space, we represent almost everybody on campus,” Thompson said. “Everyone here has at least one intersectionality being on campus, so I think that’s what we’re trying to do, to get across to students that you belong here. There is literally nobody that’s excluded here.”
The ultimate goal of the WCCC is to offer a safe space for Stan State students, according to Thompson, who said they can seek guidance through one of the services or just use the space, which is decorated with empowering artwork and oversized bean bag study chairs, as a place to unwind.
As inviting as the WCCC is, getting students through the doors is sometimes a struggle, which may be due to a variety of reasons.
Tamaya explained that she’s starting to see more students come in to use the services in her department as they learn more about what’s available to them, like free legal services for students struggling through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) paperwork, but said they still struggle to convey that message to students, who are often wary to give out too much info.
Tamaya said she fully understands the hesitation students might have to seek out help since she’s dealing with it herself.
“I’m undocumented too, so I kind of have a feel of both worlds. I’m helping them out, but I’m also going through it myself,” she said. “When I first signed up for Stan State, I was like, ‘Am I pushing it? Am I risking my limit?,’ but I kind of just took the risk, and I feel like there are just a lot of resources.”
Adrian Tennant (senior, Communication Studies), a student assistant for the Male Success Initiative (MSI) and the Black Men’s Alliance, which are both housed in the WCCC, said he wants students to feel welcome and supported when they come through the doors and hopes they find a community that wants to support them.
“We hope that anyone who feels isolated or like they’re having a hard time here with their classes, or whatever it is, they can come here and get help,” he said.
The departments in the WCCC are looking to social media more and more as the main tool to promote themselves. 
“We’re kind of trying to use Instagram to let the guys know that there’s a place for them, and a place that they can talk about their feelings,” Tennant said.
Thompson hoped to reiterate the message that WCCC is for everyone on campus. 
“When we say everybody, we mean everybody,” she said. “You can be a white, cisgender male on campus, and if you want to learn more about the people that you come into contact with everyday, this is the place to be. Our main goal is to help you be a better part of a functioning society.”
The WCCC hopes that upcoming events on campus will help garner new and returning visitors to come in and see what they have to offer. Nearly a dozen events are scheduled for the month of march, with the first one, an Undocumented Services art piece showcase and contest that began this week.

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Warrior Cross Cultural Center Provides Safe Space for Students