Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Advocating community on campus

How Jasmine Buxton views UWO
Kelly Hueckman/ Advance-Titan – (Left) Buxton looks over emails in her office. (Right) Buxton wears a bracelet that says 1908, the year Alpha Kappa Alpha was established. Buxton was a member as an undergrad, and wears the bracelet to remind herself of her involvement on campus.

It was the community that drew Jasmine Buxton to UW Oshkosh earlier this year as the associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students. But it’s that same community she hopes will keep students here.

Buxton said she noticed the community at Oshkosh even as she was taking campus tours during the interview process. She could tell students enjoyed being here.

Buxton knows how important it is for students to feel that sense of community

“I think it is different here as a person of color,” Buxton said. “I don’t see a professional community of people who look like me.”

Helping students feel like they belong and are welcomed is a goal of Buxton’s.

“I just want to make sure that students are picking up what we’re putting down,” she said. “What we are really saying is we want you to be here. We want this to be your first-choice school.”

Prospective students should know that UWO will give them a great education and experience if they are involved in school activities and organizations.

“I want students … who come here to say, ‘hey I want to be here. I love it here,’” Buxton said.

She also wants students to get past the stress the COVID-19 pandemic caused.

“I want us to get back to UWO of what it was prior,” she said. “I am trying to do that through student government, fraternity story, life, accessibility center housing.”  

The college experience is more than just going to class, she said.

“I want you to go to class,” Buxton said. “Please go. Please learn. Please study. Please take the test. Please get an A. But outside of that, a bunch of other things can enhance your in-classroom experience.”

Buxton personally knows the importance of being involved during college. She was part of Alpha Kappa Alpha as an undergraduate. Buxton always wears a bracelet with the founding date of AKA, 1908, to signify her involvement with this sorority.

“I was involved with so many things,” she said. “I had a really good time in college … and I learned how to do a lot of stuff. I loved going to class and my professors, but I loved everything outside of class. Not just parties, but meetings and sorority stuff.”

Her realization that she enjoyed helping students helped her decide to pursue a different career than her first choice of being a civil rights attorney.

“I wanted other students to have the same experience that I had,” Buxton said.

Oshkosh Student Government (OSG) Vice President Pro Tempore Jesse Ramsey said Buxton has had an impact on student government.

“She is always friendly, helpful and encouraging,” Ramsey said. “The attitude she brings to OSG is extremely positive overall, and the fresh ideas that she brings to the table have massively benefited OSG and … the student body as a whole.” 

OSA President Ben Blaser agreed. 

“She has been very helpful with us all,” Blaser said. “She assisted us in amending our constitution, changing our name to OSG, planning events and much more.” 

Buxton graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in Black World Studies, and from Indiana State University with a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Before Oshkosh, she worked at Delaware State University as associate vice president for student affairs, and later as senior associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students for about seven years, before starting her job at UWO in January.

Buxton said she loves working in student affairs.

“Higher education is interesting because … you can do the same job at a different school … and have a completely different experience,” she said. “I really came for a different experience to understand a new student population. (Oshkosh) just seemed like a good next step for me professionally.”

Buxton hopes to be an advocate for students by being an example for them.

“I try to help them,” Buxton said. “I try to be an example for them because of my role, my degrees, because of all this stuff. I want to help students figure out who they want to be and who they need to be.”

This advocacy extends to all students regardless of race, background and gender.

“Helping students from marginalized backgrounds feel like they belong here,” Buxton said. “Not just at this particular institution, but in the state, in the country. Helping them find a voice.”

 UWO senior Jayden Flowers said Buxton has helped her adapt as a young Black woman on campus.  

“Dr. Buxton is extremely helpful and understanding,” Flowers said. “She checked up on me throughout the end of the semester and helped me with the process all the way through.”

Flowers said she appreciates Buxton’s role.

“I appreciate Dr. Buxton being one of the very few Black faculty here at UW Oshkosh,” she said. “Being a young Black woman in a PWI (predominantly white institution) can be overwhelming at times and it is nice to know I have someone like Dr. Buxton in the role … to positively impact this campus as a whole.”   

Not only has Buxton been an example for students, but she also plans to include alumni experiences as well.

“My intention would be to engage alumni differently,” Buxton said. “Talk to the person who actually went here, who lived in this building, who did all the things, and had that professor. College is about legacy and I love that.”

Buxton wants students to know that college does not have to be difficult.

“Students need to know college does not have to be scary and doesn’t have to be hard,” she said. “The material can be hard in a certain class, (but) when you want to do something, you will make it work.”

Despite college being difficult, students should strive to complete their degrees, Buxton said.

“One thing you can’t get back ever is time,” she said. “So don’t come up here and mess around. College is supposed to be a lot of things. We’re here to produce new knowledge.”

Even though college is about degrees, Buxton plans to create a lasting experience for students.

“We want students to develop friendships,” she said. “We want them to engage their faculty. We want them to feel like they belong. We want them to feel safe here. We want them to be prepared for life when they leave here for internships or for jobs.”

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