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Pickett resigns as MSSC director after one year in role

Colin Wagner | Photographer
Multicultural Student Services Center Director Dustin Pickett.

Multicultural Student Services Center Director Dustin Pickett announced his imminent resignation Wednesday after one year in the role.

Pickett said his resignation would take effect Thursday, the day after his announcement, but did not explain his departure in his email to MSSC community members and affiliated student organizations. Pickett began the position in January 2023 and replaced former MSSC Director Michael Tapscott following his retirement in 2022 after serving 19 years in the role.

During his year at GW, Pickett oversaw the MSSC’s relocation from the G Street townhouse to the fifth floor of the University Student Center. He also spearheaded the renovation of a prayer room on the fourth floor of the student center and the launch of a new LGBTQIA+ resource room. Pickett did not immediately return a request for comment on why he is departing the MSSC.

“With great sadness, I resign as Director of the Multicultural Student Services Center,” Pickett said in the email. “My journey alongside all of you has been an immense joy, and I want you to know how deeply I value our time together.”

A University spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment about why Pickett resigned.

Pickett said in October that he planned to expand the MSSC’s reach to the Mount Vernon and Virginia Science and Technology campuses while director. He also planned to expand the center to the entirety of the fifth floor of the student center by the end of the academic year.

“Reflecting on the beginning of this journey in January of 2023, I could never have imagined the incredible beauty we would collectively create,” Pickett said. “Each of you has played a vital role in our accomplishments, and I am immensely grateful for that.”

His resignation leaves only one full-time staff member in the division — Student Program Associate Elise Greenfield — after AJ King, the former associate director of the Multicultural Student LGBTQIA+ Resource Center, left GW in December to become the director of Intercultural Affairs and LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Howard University.

Riya Sharma, a senior and the president of Students for Indigenous and Native American Rights, said she was surprised when she saw the email about Pickett’s departure but understands the resignation could have been “unexpected.” Sharma said it is disappointing to see Pickett leave GW because he helped the group host events for Native American Heritage Month in November, and helped fund tickets for the group’s theater viewing of  “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a film about a string of murders of members of the Osage Nation in the 1920s.

“​​I just hope that they’re able to find somebody who is similarly engaged and really cares about the students at GW and cares about supporting multicultural orgs and students at GW,” Sharma said. 

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About the Contributor
Fiona Bork, Assistant News Editor
Fiona Bork is a sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication from San Diego, California. She is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 assistant news editor for the Student Life beat.
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