Defining the community

Two students walk down Saginaw Road past the flat lot. The city of Flint sign is in the background.

Kaitlyn Bergman, Writer

The office of the chancellor states on its website that the University of Michigan-Flint “is a comprehensive urban university of diverse learners and scholars committed to advancing our local and global communities”. This leaves prospective students with many questions. Who are these scholars, and what are they doing to help their communities?


David Luke, chief diversity officer of the Intercultural Center said he strives to make the UM-Flint community more equitable and diverse. 


“We want students of the community to be able to look at UM-Flint as their school, that they know they can go to for higher education.” 


Luke added spaces like the Intercultural Center are important to the campus community as well. 


“Our students advocated for themselves by sharing that it’s crucial to have a place to support organizations and to provide a space where we may have a dialogue about social issues that are happening. This provides a way for students that are not having these conversations within class to still engage with them on our campus.”


The Intercultural Center isn’t the only place that students can get support on campus though. The Center for Gender and Sexuality is another example. The center offers Women Talk Wednesdays and Queer Thursdays which are both opportunities for students to engage in discourse or simply get together and hang out. 


Clubs, intramural sports, events and opportunities in between, are also ways that UM-Flint provides a unique experience to every community member, with ways for each individual to explore their individual passions or come together in an organization. 


Faculty and staff also find ways to get involved. 


Mary Ann Kost, academic success specialist with the Student Success Center adds that the university values a shared vision of assisting and helping students become successful.


In order to do that, the university helps students form a community and a sense of belonging. 


“When they form that sense of belonging, they can take ownership and call it their own. Nothing is more important than that.”