Long Beach State is currently looking for a new permanent location for the Cultural Resource Center. The center will house all cultural groups on campus so students can easily access information and resources in one location.
Three locations that are currently being considered are the University Student Union after the renovation project, the lower level of the University Library and the Foundation Building.
“The university has no preference as to which of the available spaces is settled upon as long as the feedback has been incorporated from all historically minoritized groups,” said Melissa Kawamoto, director of special projects for student affairs. “The goal is to meet the needs of as many students as possible.”
The school has already consulted with over 80 students, according to Kawamoto.
The current decision-making process is to collect as much feedback from students as possible and have discussions with student representatives about each location. From there, student affairs hopes to make the final decision.
“Safety and community have been emphasized in almost every conversation,” Kawamoto said. “All student groups have said that the centers should be inclusive and inviting places where students can create friendships, study, have events, learn and support one another.”
Feedback shows that students want a location that would create a safe environment.
“They also recognize that these centers could be the target of harassment by some groups and would like that to be considered when selecting a location,” Kawamoto said.
Anayeli Hernandez, president of the Latinx Student Union, said the USU would be the best location for the cultural resource center.
“One biggest student concern is that we don’t want our cultural centers to be pushed down in terms of visibility. We want students to have the most accessible option. We want incoming students to be able to have really a hub for support,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the USU building would offer more visibility and accessibility to the Cultural Resource Center. She said that, currently, the LSU does not have a specific center, which makes it hard for students to find.
This is the same for many cultural clubs that are currently placed randomly around campus. Hernandez emphasized the importance of student involvement in decision-making and said she really wants to push more students to voice their thoughts on the project.
She hopes that the new Cultural Resource Center can provide a space that feels like home for underrepresented students
Hernandez said, “I think that a lot of that would be helped if we were to be able to come together in a space where we feel like we’re in a safe space, where we feel that we’re at home,”