The creation of a multicultural center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette is underway with the guidance of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Office for Campus Diversity.
A new multicultural center would provide a shared space on campus for gathering and organizing.
Destiny Broussard, SGA president, said that the proposed multicultural center would serve as a meeting center for all students on campus. The center would allow for student organizations to gather, organize and receive mail.
According to Broussard, the current gathering spots on campus, such as the Student Union, are not ideal places for students to gather, socialize and relax. The proposed multicultural center will fulfill the need for an on-campus gathering spot.
Broussard said that the multicultural center will be a safe place to venture out.
Kiwana McClung, chief diversity officer at UL Lafayette, said that student feedback is an important aspect in the creation of the multicultural center.
On Feb. 6, the Office for Campus Diversity and the SGA held an engagement night where students were invited to give their feedback and perspective on what the multicultural center will look like.
Students compared multicultural centers at other universities and noted what they liked and disliked about them. This feedback will be taken into consideration when creating the proposal for the center.
Students were able to share their thoughts about what they want the multicultural center to look like. McClung said students were able to view other multicultural centers and give their feedback on furniture, carpeting and the overall look of the multicultural center.
“I think it was a wonderful event,” McClung said. “We got a lot of feedback.”
The location of the multicultural center is still undecided, with ongoing talks. The idea of repurposing a vacant space on campus has been proposed. An alternate suggestion is to create an entirely new space on campus to house the multicultural center.
Notably, there have been thoughts about housing the multicultural center in Harris Hall.
McClung said that it is feasible in the next year to have a dedicated space for a multicultural center on campus, although the completion of this project is largely reliant on the budget provided.
The proposal of the multicultural center comes with the SGA’s aid. They will donate funding and start the motions to begin the creation of a multicultural center.
Broussard said there is a five-year plan for total completion of a multicultural center on campus.
McClung said that feedback has overall been positive and students are excited about the prospective center. Engagement events have had positive turnout, and students are engaged and excited.
“People see it as an opportunity to become culturally competent,” McClung said.