Delaware Valley University recently opened a new multicultural lounge on the first floor of the Student Center.
The lounge was designed and opened as part of DelVal’s diversity and inclusion efforts. The lounge is a space for students to express their individuality and celebrate diversity.
The lounge is fully furnished to provide a place for students to gather, relax, socialize or study. There will also be a university staff member who works out of the lounge.
The lounge opened during Homecoming Weekend. At the opening, a new mural was unveiled to students, faculty and staff. Alumnus Omari Mooring, Class of 2017, painted the mural and explained the artwork at the opening reception.
The space is named Mélange Lounge. Current student Briana Davis, Class of 2023, chose the name.
“I suggested the name Mélange because it means a medley or mixture of different things, which is what the multicultural lounge represents,” said Davis.
The lounge is a space for students, designed to honor diversity and individuality. The lounge reflects DelVal’s core values to “respect all people” and “value the world of ideas and differences.”
The Mélange Lounge will be a space for students to learn about different viewpoints and backgrounds.
The idea to create a physical space dedicated to diversity and inclusion came from the Black Student Union (BSU). After BSU proposed the idea to DelVal Dean of Student Development Timothy Poirier, the idea became part of the university’s strategic plan and the process of developing a space began.
Assistant Dean of Student Development for Diversity and Inclusion Evie Hunter, whose office will be located in the space, was a part of the design and implementation process for the lounge. Hunter discussed ideas with Mooring for the mural.
“I knew that we were getting some portraits of DelVal students, staff, and faculty from another artist, so I wanted to stick with the theme ‘faces of DelVal,’” said Hunter. “We decided that we wanted the figures on the wall to represent students here.”
The faces on the portraits are intentionally blank. Mooring designed it that way so that students can imagine themselves represented in the mural. Mooring worked on the mural for two weekends in preparation for the Homecoming opening reception.
Hunter hopes that the lounge serves as a useful resource for students.
“The lounge is a tangible way for us to express our core values,” said Hunter.
Diversity and inclusion is a key part of DelVal’s strategic plan. Opening the multicultural lounge to provide a physical space for students was one of the items outlined in the strategic plan.
The university’s Division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence will work with the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, a group made up of people from across campus, to support diversity and inclusion work on campus.