Mines International Office should not move to the Green Center (when it Re-Opens)
With all of the re-organization on campus, it has come to my attention that the Mines International Office will be moving to the Green Center when the building re-opens. I am a student employee in the office, so I know how important it is to have the office in a convenient spot to serve the Mines community. (For reference, it is currently in the student center)
I think that moving the office is an absurd idea. I know that office space is tight on this campus, but the International Office (IO) is a crucial spot for international students to deal with various needs, and it is also important to for domestic students who wish to travel abroad. The IO also works closely with the financial aid office, registrar, SAIL, and the Cashier's office, all of which are located in the student center as well.
On a typical day, there are 1-2 students being served by the office at-all-times. Many times, there are people waiting to see the immigration specialists or attending educational events. It is important that these students feel welcome on our campus, and the IO is a home away from home for many international students. Having the IO in a visible space is important to project the rich diversity of this campus, and I also feel like it complements President Johnsons Diversity Initiatives.
The IO is also the first place that international students and scholars come when they check-in. They often have to visit many offices in the same day to get situated, like the CLO, Financial Aid, and Registrar etc. We want the check-in process to be as easy as possible since the students should feel welcome to the oredigger family immediately. Keeping the office in a centralized location will facilitate this.
In addition to the incoming international students, the office is also a hub for students who wish to study abroad. The number of Mines students abroad each semester has more than tripled in the past year or so. The program is growing rapidly, and many students that we speak to at Mines recruiting evets are beginning to come here just because we offer a study abroad program which works with STEM majors. Having the office in the student center will increase visibility and keep the program growing strong.
The international office serves the students of this campus, incoming and outgoing international students, and is a strong pillar of diversity. It should be kept in a centralized location in the student center, so it can continue supporting the diversity on this campus in the best possible way.