We believe that focusing our lens on what we (and our students) don’t have, a myth of scarcity, prevents us from fully utilizing the resources we do have, and building partnerships to share resources in mutually beneficial ways. Cultivating a sense of abundance, creating opportunities for others to collaborate and share enriches all.

Centering the voices of bnc students

Through our advisory board, input from BNC student staff, interns, volunteers, we believe in active participation from the low-income students we serve. The best BNC programs were created by students for students. We believe that centering the voices of BNC students in program planning and decision making will result in effective resource stewardship, responsible impact and meaningful change for students struggling with poverty, food insecurity and homelessness.

Privacy - and our Confidentiality Standard

People who are experiencing poverty often may experience shame about their experience that might prevent them from seeking help. Others may have concerns about information about them being accessed unfairly in a way that may negatively impact them. The BNC has historically sought to be a confidential resource for students and we maintain that standard moving forward.

Equity- via Social Justice, Restorative Community-Centered Practices, and Trauma-Informed Practices

The challenges BNC students face at Oregon State University are a clear result of their lived experiences with classism. These challenges are not independent of their experiences with sexism, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination and oppression. The staff at the BNC work to hold an intersectional social justice lens while both directly serving and assisting BNC students and while educating and advocating on a campus, community and national level. 

Our values of Restorative and Community-Centered Practices prioritize building relationships and community building. We do this as a staff and within the community of students using our services and resources. When harm has been caused, we seek to rebuild and restore relationships rather than take punitive action. We prioritize building a strong community that can enrich our students through collective resource sharing, relationships and collaboration and resolve conflict quickly and proactively.

We integrate trauma informed practices into our work. We recognize that the challenging experiences our students have had prior to their time at OSU might be causing barriers to their academic success and experiencing belonging on campus. We will strive to do our work in a way that keeps everyone safe, promotes individual growth and empowers our students.

Focusing on solutions

We believe that we should be focusing our energy and efforts not so much on barriers or challenges but on opportunities and finding creative new solutions. Momentum and change will happen when we make progress where we can.


We believe in the power of community.

Much of the work we do relies on partnerships across campus or within the regional community. Partnerships, collaborations and coalition building helps us be effective resource stewards and leverage the resources of others while sharing the resources we have.