Building upon its efforts to meet student needs, the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts is opening a pantry and Student Success Center on March 24.
The pantry, which will be in the Student Success Center, Woods Art Building Room 111, will supply personal hygiene and non-perishable food items to any Husker student in need. A grand-opening event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 24. Those attending are asked to bring a non-perishable food or personal care item to help stock the pantry.
The pantry and success center are the latest in a series of efforts to meet student needs identified by the college’s student advisory board and results from a university-wide survey that showed more students are becoming food insecure.
To help meet that need, Jackie Mattingly, interim associate dean for student success and assistant professor of practice in music, partnered with Big Red Resilience and Well-being to deliver resources to the fine and performing arts corner of campus.
“In the Hixson-Lied College we care about each dimension of student wellness and look forward to providing resources close to our students' academic homes,” Mattingly said.
The college started by providing well-being pop-up sessions, through which students were able to express additional resources that they’d like to see.
As a result, the college has set up its own pantry in conjunction with the Husker Pantry and Big Red Resilience and Well-being.
The pantry will serve as an extension of the resources located at the Husker Pantry, which has additional offerings including perishable food items. The pop-in pantry is free and open to all students.
Hixson-Lied faculty, staff, students and student organizations have already shown their dedication to student success by uniting to collect and make donations to the pantry.
For example, Glenn Korff School of Music choral ensembles kicked off the donations by collecting donations at their Evening of Choirs on March 13. There are also donation bins located in each Hixson-Lied building.
Our thanks to @UNLChoirs for collecting food at their recent concert for our new food pantry opening soon in the Student Success Center! We appreciate your generosity! #unlarts @UNLSomusic pic.twitter.com/AHDI5cPk7T
— Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts (@UNLArts) March 11, 2022
“It has really become a community effort,” Mattingly said.
College leaders recently selected Emily Griffin Overocker to serve as student success coordinator. Her duties include overseeing the pantry and other college initiatives.
"Student success starts with basic human needs because students cannot focus on learning if they do not have food or shelter," Griffin Overocker said. "Hopefully, this new pantry will free up mental bandwidth for students to be able to focus more on their classes."
College leaders expect that the Student Success Center will become a hub of support and a home for student success initiatives, including future well-being sessions. The college and student success team will continue to listen to students and improve and change offerings as needed.
"By focusing on students holistically we hope we are able to help remove barriers for students so they can maximize their opportunities here at the university," Griffin Overocker said.