Renovated Multicultural Center opens in Union
After years of student organizations pushing to get a free-standing multicultural building on campus, the Union welcomed the new Mosaic Multicultural Unity Center on Friday with a ribbon tying ceremony emphasizing unity.
For the past 14 years, the Multicultural Center was in the basement of the Union, making some students, such as communication senior Luis Zarco, think the space was too small and cramped to fit everyone.
The new center now has a large meeting space that will be used for group meetings, individual rooms and an open theater with a screen and projector. It also was renamed the Mosaic Multicultural Unity Center because it now presents a lot of opportunity to become more inclusive.
As a previous member of Culturas de las Razas Unidas, Zarco said the student group, along with members from MSU’s Council of Progressive Students, or COPS, and Council of Racial and Ethnic Students, or CORES, pushed for the renovations and hoped to eventually obtain a free-standing cultural building on campus.
“It was an effort to revamp our own images and to increase collaboration between all four groups,” Zarco said.
During a series of racial incidents that took place on campus in 2011, MSU’s Black Student Alliance gave a list of demands to the university, and a new center was top of the list.
“We wanted a common space where all of us could sit together and discuss collaborative events like Spartan Remix, Cultural Remix and any other event where all four organizations corporate together and we needed a large seating space,” Zarco said.
The transition and construction process started at the beginning of the 2013 summer and the final touches are still in process, Associate Director of Office of Cultural and Academic Training Maggie Chen Hernandez said. The center is not officially fully functioning but will provide as many resources to students as possible.
“With the new center, we hope in the future there’s a lot more focus in the interaction of various cultural communities coming together,” Chen Hernandez said.
Moving the Multicultural Center from the basement to the second floor reflects MSU’s goal of diversity and inclusion, Chen Hernandez said.
Women’s and gender studies senior Travis Lunsford, a member of MSU’s LGBTA, said the new space will serve as a new beginning for MSU’s COPS and CORES groups on campus.
“I am very pleased with the amount of student voice that went in to creating the new space,” Lunsford said. “Meetings were held last year in which students discussed with the architects their needs of the space, and the architects and administration made sure to accommodate as many of those needs as they could.”