The James E. Marks Intercultural Center, which among others hosts the Student Center for Inclusion and Culture (SCIC), was abruptly relocated a year and a half ago due to construction of the Study hotel at University City. Despite the uproar surrounding this decision, new director Alexandra Daniels-Iannucci ([email protected]) wants the Drexel University community to know the SCIC is focused on thriving as a student-centered organization.
“If I could spend all day talking with students, I would,” Iannucci said.
Iannucci is currently bringing more staff on board, and the need for more workers at the SCIC not only reflects the transition period of beginning as the director at the SCIC but displays the larger ripple effect the move to Arch Street from the location on 33rd and Chestnut streets may have had. Hospitality 3 joined forces with Drexel to build The Study at University City, where the James E. Marks Intercultural Center was, and broke ground in May 2015. According to Drexel President John A. Fry, the “lifestyle hotel” is the missing piece for students, families, visitors and anyone visiting this outstanding environment for fostering intellectual achievements and growth.
The Study at University City has yet to be completed and the Office of Student Life was unable to speak on how the hotel’s construction and eventual completion will affect students and their families. Many students and others in the Drexel community were outraged that the Intercultural Center was demolished for the construction of this hotel, claiming that it would take away from the inclusive environment here and that the SCIC should not have had to relocate to much smaller offices because its resources would be diminished.
Iannucci says she is actively working to create inclusive space in all areas of the Drexel community so that a welcoming atmosphere exists everywhere. She does this at the SCIC by making herself a resource for students, providing public education programs and building relationships and collaborations through these programs.
“We need a unified idea of what inclusion is. Inclusion is a shared effort,” Iannucci said.
The SCIC, with Iannucci at the helm, has made it clear that the Arch Street location is a new start. Iannucci is using every waking minute to take in all of the information about the Drexel community, knowing how important the culture of a community is to understanding its needs.
Iannucci is not looking back at the past, and encourages the Drexel community to focus solely on the future. The SCIC is building from the new, and working with students and faculty alike to create inclusive spaces that community members can participate in maintaining. Right now the organization is placing a large emphasis on getting involved in the Drexel community and meeting others, seeking to say hello to students on the street as well as connect with community organizations.
“You have to know where you’re starting to know where you’re going. Drexel is headed in a great direction and I am excited to be here,” Iannucci said, discussing her outlook on her new position at the university.
The global vision of inclusion is very real for the SCIC, but the staff takes a personal approach by talking to people and engaging students. Iannucci loves emails from students in her inbox and welcomes students to apply for work study positions, volunteer positions and welcomes engagement from community organizations. The SCIC wants students to know it is here for them as a resource under any circumstance.
Iannucci, who graduated from St. Joseph’s University and is a long time LGBT advocate, is thrilled to be the new director of the SCIC. The SCIC wants to make sure the community has an easy way to access resources they can use to work towards creating a more inclusive community for themselves and others. A student-centered organization making a new beginning in many ways, the SCIC is here for all Drexel students and the community they live in to utilize.