About the SOAR Center
The Students Organizing for Access to Resources (SOAR) Center strives to create equitable access to food, professional clothes, commencement regalia, and scholarly resources, especially books, for WU students. In an effort to help all students succeed, the SOAR Center is available to all students with a Willamette ID number: College of Liberal Arts (CLA), American Studies Program (ASP), graduate school, and Willamette Academy students. The SOAR Center is located in the University Center on the third floor and houses the Bearcat Pantry, Clothing Share, and First-Generation Book Drive and is maintained by committed students, staff and faculty advisors.
The Bearcat Pantry addresses food insecurity experienced by Willamette students. Food insecurity is very prevalent among college students across the country and can be a barrier to succeeding in school. The Bearcat Pantry has both perishable and non-perishable food items, as well as personal hygiene supplies, such as shampoo and razors. The Bearcat Pantry was originally started as a program under the Office of Community Service Learning but now has transitioned to operating more independently as an ASWU External Program.
The Clothing Share provides support for WU students seeking professional attire for jobs, internships, conferences, and other similar events and opportunities that advance their present and future endeavors. Commencement regalia are also available to interested students. The Clothing Share contains: blouses, shirts, skirts, slacks, suits, ties, jewelry, shoes, and handbags for all Willamette University students. The Clothing Share emerged from organizing efforts by La Chispa de Salem (the Salem Spark), a multidisciplinary environmental justice coalition.
The First-Generation Book Drive aims to reduce the financial stress that many first-generation students face when purchasing their textbooks and when navigating college. A program of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Book Drive provides books for various courses and school supplies are available. This support is offered during the beginning and end of each semester.