Long Beach State students and alumni demanded the California State University Board of Trustees provide funding for a new multicultural resource center during their meeting on Tuesday.
During public comments, CSULB students, faculty and alumni expressed how frustrated they are that nothing is being done to build a cultural center on campus. They also spoke about the renovations needed by the Fine Arts building, finding replacements for retired art professors and the lack of mental health support.
Cultural organizations, such as the Black Student Union and La F.U.E.R.Z.A, are being relocated to the university library’s basement because their current cultural center is outdated and not ADA accessible.
Long Beach State post-baccalaureate student JT Hall expressed his frustration over the decision and advocated for a new cultural resources center building to be built on campus.
“We’re not asking CSULB to do anything out of the ordinary, we’re asking the makers of priority and building resources to do what they’ve already proven they can do for others throughout campus,” Hall said.
Hall has been at CSULB for the last six years, four years as an undergraduate and two as a graduate student. Since being at CSULB, he has seen the creation of new dorms, the “Go Beach” sign and the International Education building.
Fine Arts CSULB alumna Melanie Nuccio said the university has reputable Fine Arts programs, but is slowly losing that reputation.
“The School of Art is in crisis. We are faced with a shortage of full-time faculty due to them not replacing retirees, insufficient support staff, decrepit facilities and the result is threatening our national accreditation of our program,” Nuccio said.
CSULB had many full-time fine art professors retire, but failed to replace them.
CSULB art professor Rebecca Sittler said the university is losing faculty members because of the poor conditions.
“We continue to lose these faculty to other institutions, despite their preference to continue to stay right here at CSULB. We’re at a crisis point, and we really need your investment and support to remedy,” Sittler said.
An approved action item introduced to the board allows all 23 CSU campuses to build or renovate facilities based on submissions and priorities.
The CSULB College of Fine Arts has submitted its five-year plan. However, the Board of Trustees expressed the university is not the highest priority on their list at the moment.
During their next meeting on Wednesday, the board did not address the concerns from the CSULB community they heard the day before.