The History of the Class and Access Resource Center

The Class and Access Resource Center first began in August 2017 as the Campus Diversity and Student Leadership (which later was renamed to the Center for Diversity and Student Leadership a.k.a CDSL).  In its original mission, CDSL provided education, support and advocacy to and on behalf of first- generation, low-income, transfer, undocumented/DACA and veteran students. This mission has remained the same for CARC with one exception being that official programming for undocumented and DACA students now lives under the care of the Multicultural Resource Center; this shift was made to honor the implications & intersections of race & culture with those holding this identity. CDSL had run signature programming such as the Next Gen Leadership Summit , Spring Transfer Orientation, and Veteran Conferences -- all events that have evolved into CARC's current programming.

In 2021, after a student-led petition to rebrand the center with a name that better reflects and accurately captures its students, activities, and goals, the Class & Access Resource Center (CARC) came to be. 

The roots of CARC traces back to the Amherst Uprising in 2015, when students mobilized activist efforts and advocated for institutional change to dismantle systems of discrimination and oppression for those with marginalized identities. As a result, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) was founded in June 2016. 

ODI, now known as Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, expanded to include the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), the Queer Resource Center (QRC), and the Women's and Gender Center (WGC) in July 2016.  Later on, in July 2017, the Center for International Student Engagement (CISE) also joined, and then CDSL joined shortly after in August 2017. 

Now, the Office of Identity and Cultural Resource Centers (OICR) consists of these 6 resource centers (its newest addition being the Center for Religious & Spiritual Life (RSL)), each with their unique mission to serve specific student populations. OICR is now a part of the Student Affairs Division in alignment with all the student-facing work we do, and CARC works in close collaboration with the other centers because of the belief that  identity- and cultural-based work is done best as a coalition and through an intersectional lens.