Outside view of the Student Center

About Us

Located in the heart of Western Michigan University's campus.

Welcome to the Student Center where students gather, play and connect. Opened in August 2023, the Student Center was designed to be student-first and includes an array of diverse spaces and services in a welcoming and inclusive environment.  The Student Center houses meeting rooms, study lounges, restaurants, a Starbucks, the campus bookstore, student organizations, a fireplace, and much more.  Whether you’re here to study, attend a meeting or event, plan a program with your RSO, grab a pizza, or just hang out with friends, we want you to call the Student Center your home away from home.

Student Center Mission

To foster an inclusive and vibrant student centered community by providing resources, programs, and a welcoming facility where all students can gather, play, and connect.

  • Student Center in the Fall
  • Students in the Student Center

Diversity and Multicultural Pathways

The Institutional Diversity and Multiculturalism (IDM) committee's main goal is to ensure the WMU Student Center will be welcoming, inclusive and supportive of all who enter and use the student-first facility. The committee is comprised of key student leaders, staff who will work in and manage the student center and staff from offices that support campus-wide diversity and inclusion efforts. IDM has developed a number of pathways that will ensure a welcoming, inclusive and supportive student center.

  • Diversity and inclusion training

    One of the most important goals as we open the student center is to ensure all who work and provide service and support to students will go through diversity and inclusion training. This not only includes WMU full-time and student staff, but also business partners who lease space. Through ODI’s input, three areas of training/education have been identified: “Identity, Power, & Privilege,” “Cultural Humility,” and “Preventing & Addressing Macroaggressions.” As needed, these topics may change.

  • Student center guidelines

    Students and RSOs should feel welcome in the student center. The student center should be the most student-friendly facility on campus. Processes, procedures, and guidelines should reflect a student-first approach while still balancing use by the WMU community. In development: 

    • Drafting student-friendly room use guidelines and procedures, and student-friendly building operational guidelines
    • Creating a student feedback and review process
    • Determine what it means to apply an IDM lens or “inclusive and welcome” lens on student facing spaces, processes, services, programs, etc
    • D&I training for all student center student staff: ops managers, info center, game room, AV techs, etc.
    • Process to ensure student center student staff is diverse and representative of the student body
  • Virtual navigation for low/no vision visitors

    Determine processes and technology to help low/no vision building users have a positive and informative experience. An IDM member met with students Rashid Deme and Taylor Arndt to explore their experiences and gather feedback. Ideas generated:

    • Make apps available such as “Be My Eyes,” “BlindSquare,” and “Aira”
    • Research kiosks that translate flyers, notices, etc. into large print, easy to read documents for low vision
    • Tap local resources such as Chris Roach from Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons who can assist with staff training 
  • WMU Office of Diversity and Inclusion engagement

    Student Center staff (currently Bernhard Center staff) and ODI have committed to creating a collaborative and supportive relationship. Such a relationship will allow and encourage student center staff to engage and consult with ODI on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If practices and policy need a critical review from a DEI lens, ODI will assist as able. ODI training resources will be available to the student center as available.

  • Inclusive and adaptive experience

    Dining Services staff (residence dining and retail) will coordinate services to ensure a wide variety of food options.  Specific dietary accommodations will be met such as halal, vegan, and allergen-friendly. Training for staff will promote a collaborative community and will include educational sessions on equipment training and dietary restrictions. A training video was created that introduces halal meat to staff and how it should be handled.

  • Mosaic affinity space

    The mosaic affinity space is a combination of five spaces: gathering room, flex meeting room, ablution room, prayer/meditation room, and pantry/work area. The suite is intended to be a hub for cultural and affinity-based programs, meetings, gatherings, events, and support. In process: 

    • Creating operational and use guidelines
    • Display cabinet procedures
  • Land acknowledgement statement and gifted blanket

    At the September 11, 2019 WMU Board of Trustees meeting, the Board formally acknowledged the University’s place on historically indigenous land by approving a land acknowledgment statement. During the BOT meeting, a tribal blanket was presented to WMU by the Council of Three Fires. The blanket will be prominently displayed in the student center along with the land acknowledgment statement.