Student Agency, Autonomy and Right-Responsibility

Peer Navigators bring a positive, realistic attitude to problem-solving, helping students  consider multiple ideas connected to reaching their goals of a college degree. The Peer Navigators work as collaborators with their peers, supporting their thinking and learning as they build strategies to meet their basic needs. Each student is best-equipped to make decisions that work for them - our team works collaboratively to resource their peers with strategies that best support their unique challenge and set of resources. 

Political Efficacy, Microdemocracy and Building Power

Peer Navigators at the Basic Needs Center are included in programmatic decisions connected to how the team works together, how they and others make meaning connected to identities as “workers” and applied theoretical conversations about building workplace cultures where people are meaningfully participating in co-creating the work experience. Many workplace decisions are built collaboratively with intentional input and influence from the Peer Navigator team. The Basic Needs Center is a learning organization that believes relationships at work matter. Each person on the team is regularly in a learner role and a teacher role.

Authentic Hospitality and Belonging

The Basic Needs Center offers students from all backgrounds and experiences, a genuine and warm welcome. The atmosphere in the center is comfortable, inviting and there are regularly fun and creative activities to join. Visitors to the center are regularly offered snacks or beverages and peer navigators in the center build connections through conversations that often feel like meeting a new friend. There are many reasons why it can be hard to ask for help - but it's important to know that challenges with basic needs aren't uncommon at OSU. The BNC Peer Navigator team has ideas, strategies and resources to help students on their path to graduation. 

Student Leadership

Peer Navigators at the Basic Needs Center lead the way. These students receive robust training and support to support their peers in building basic needs strategies. These student leaders coordinate the campus food pantry, plan events and take the lead wherever they can. Professional and Graduate staff function in a support team model, resourcing the student leader team with mentoring, skill development, and logistical support. BNC students are community builders capable of powerful change and making meaningful impact in their work. Peer Navigators support the BNC program logistics, assisting and leading projects connected to the center's community learning garden, food pantry and textbook lending program. Wherever possible the Peer Navigators are front-and-center leading the work.

Interdependence and Asset-Based Community Development 

Everyone needs community and belonging. When people are in community, they can share and save money. They can double up in housing to avoid sleeping in their car. They can resource each other with information or extra garden veggies. They can teach each other skills or alternate ways to reach a goal. Relationships resource people in ways that are not be understated. Everyone has a contribution to make to a community and we believe our campus benefits from each person's unique contribution. The BNC team is an intentional community that works to demonstrate care for each other and the community being served.