We sometimes hear from parents who would like to know more about U-M’s programs, services, and spaces for students of various identities. In a new ongoing feature, read about Student Life programs to create inclusive spaces on campus. The first article in the series focuses on the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center.
The William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center, affectionately known on campus simply as “Trotter,” is a space where your student can socialize, study, and engage in many different kinds of enrichment experiences. The center officially opened its doors as a Black student cultural center in 1971, as part of U-M’s response to the Black Action Movement. Trotter started with the intention of being a space for African American students to hold meetings and cultural events.
Since its inception, Trotter has continued to grow, evolve, and expand. Today, the center provides a number of fun and enriching programs and services that holistically promote student well-being outside of the classroom. Health and wellness programs, social spaces, professional development opportunities, and civic engagement events can all be found inside the doors of this 91-year-old building.
Says Trotter Director Jackie Simpson:
Our overall goal is to create an environment that provides a space where support, social justice, and equity can be created and experienced.
Students are encouraged to engage socially in the space through formal programming or informal socializing and studying. Additionally, Trotter offers an open computer lab, a quiet reflection room, and offices for student organizations. Trotter also collaborates with many different units across campus to offer joint programs.
In the last year, Trotter has seen facility renovations, as well as updates to the organization's structure, leadership, and programming. All of these changes reflect the center’s current focus on offering a more open and welcoming atmosphere.
Jessica Thompson, Operations Manager at Trotter, explains:
We are in the pilot year of what we call ‘A New Trotter.’ We are actively reassessing the student population on campus to learn more about who they are, what they need from us, and what they respond to most strongly in terms of programs and services. We have a wonderful programming board comprised of students who help us by making great recommendations on how Trotter can continually evolve to serve students of varying identities the best.
If your student is seeking a supportive space on campus where they can individually and collectively find their niche and/or establish a like-minded community with others, consider suggesting that they take a trip to visit Trotter!
To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.