People of Central – Essence Simmons

Story and photo by Kiyanna Johnson

The definition of inclusion is the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those with physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.

Central Michigan University senior Essence Simmons has been the inclusion assistant for Herrig Hall for about two years. Her duties include promoting inclusion and diversity and helping support students with marginalized identities. She makes sure her residents are educated with current events and social justice issues. The policy within the residence halls are enforced as well.

“I applied to make an impact on CMU students and be of aid to the first year students so they can have someone to lean on,” Simmons said.

Simmons is able to connect with students individually. She makes sure she has an open door policy within her job. If any resident needs to have a conversation about personal needs, Simmons is right there to listen and give her all in making sure they are okay.

Although this position may seem diligent, connecting with people is what Simmons cherishes the most. After college, she wants to pursue full-time ministry where she is able to help more people in need. 

Everyone has a different story when they set foot on CMU’s campus, and sometimes it can be difficult to handle on your own. Simmons is the bridge to make students transition easier to face.

College can be a difficult journey, but CMU has placed people like Simmons to make sure students strive to the best of their abilities.