What does a glittering disco ball, a global map, and a circular ribbon representing inclusion of all peoples have in common?
Well, that is the TMCC DISCO, and it’s a happenin’ place.
The new Diversity and International Student Center and Office (DISCO) at Truckee Meadows Community College is hosting a Grand Opening celebration on Oct. 11 for the college community, media representatives and distinguished guests.
- When: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 10–11 a.m.
- Where: Red Mountain Building, room 114, TMCC Dandini Campus, 7000 Dandini Blvd.
Highlights of the Grand Opening include the following:
- Ribbon cutting
- Informal tours
- Certificate of Recognition from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
- Proclamation "Oct. 11 is TMCC DISCO Day" from Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve
- Brunch hors d’oeuvres such as muffins, fruit, mini quiches, and spanakopita
Community diversity advocates who live in Reno-Sparks and would like to attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confirmed guests will also include Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung, Reno City Councilman Paul McKenzie, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Regent Cedric Crear, Vice Chancellor Constance Brooks, PhD, and Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society President Tiffany Young.
DISCO is a novel collaboration of the TMCC Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability Office with the College’s International Student Services Center, and will provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff.
“The Grand Opening is a ‘thank you’ to the TMCC community for supporting diversity topics and events over the years,” said YeVonne Allen, Program Manager, Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability. “We are celebrating that the space has been needed at the College and now it exists.”
Natalie Brown, PhD, Program Director and International Services Administrative Lead agrees.
“We are so excited to have a dedicated space to celebrate diversity and international programs here at TMCC,” she said. “As our international program grows, so too will the opportunities for our entire TMCC community to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds, understand our cultural differences and historical experiences that make us unique and create open dialogue in a welcoming space.”
What Are the Features of DISCO?
The DISCO comprises lounge spaces for students to visit with friends, three small glass-walled offices—called cubes—for international student and diversity peer mentors, and four computer workstations for drop-in use by students and staff.
“Student clubs can book tables to meet, or people can just hang out and relax, Allen said. “Music will be playing most of the time, and there is a TV for watching documentaries.”
Tall tables may be used for those working on their laptops, and phone chargers are available for use while visiting the Center.
“There is a quiet and private nursing or meditation room that students or staff members can reserve if they have an infant or would like to spend some time meditating,” she added.
The Sustainability Faculty Advocate, architecture Professor Kreg Mebust, will also use one of the cube offices on Wednesdays. His responsibilities include coordinating sustainability initiatives and managing communications needed as a liaison to the faculty and to Second Nature Inc., the organization that partners with TMCC in a resiliency commitment.
How the DISCO Began
“About a year ago, in the summer of 2016, we found out there was a space available for a combined center to house Equity and Inclusion together with International Student Services,” Allen said. “It was an executive administration initiative to create a new center to benefit TMCC students.”
Allen and International Services Lead Natalie Brown met frequently during Spring Semester to plan the scope and services of the new center. One of these meetings was devoted to what the space should be called. They were playing with initials that would be in the title, such as D for diversity and I for international studies.
“We just put the words together and discovered the amazing acronym that was possible,” Allen said. “Then we presented it to the Vice President of Student Services and Diversity, Estela Levario Gutierrez, and she was really supportive. We then brought the idea to the President’s Cabinet.”
TMCC President Karin Hilgersom, PhD, approved DISCO’s name and renovation of the spaces to create DISCO.
“We’d like to help people become familiar with the space as an open and welcoming environment,” Allen added.
Brown invites the College community to drop by and see the new Center.
“If you have not yet stopped in, please do,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming our TMCC students, faculty, and staff in the DISCO and hope to see you all at the Grand Opening celebration.”
For more information about DISCO, please call the Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability Office at 775-673-7027.