On a seemingly quiet Friday afternoon on the Humboldt State University campus, the MultiCultural Center was booming with energy, as international music and the savory smell of lumpia filled the air. Dozens of HSU students gathered in front of the center on Sept. 12 for the MCC open house to represent and celebrate the various cultures our campus consists of.
The center open house aimed to familiarize students with the numerous cultural centers available on campus and create a comfortable environment for socializing and learning.
Among the representatives were Scholars without Borders (SWB), Women’s Resource Center (WRC), the Latinx Center, and the Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center (ERC). These centers, as well as much more serve as resources to anyone on campus, especially students who may feel marginalized.
Although these centers and clubs seem to differ, they all share a passion for solidarity and intersectionality. Jonathon Salinas, 20, is majoring in Spanish and currently working as the event coordinator at ERC. Salinas says instead of viewing activism as separate social movements, it’s important to support each other, heal and move forward together.
According to a 2013 Humboldt retention report, an average of 25 percent of the first year, full-time undergraduate students were not retained.
Cesar Abarca, faculty coordinator of SWB and an assistant professor in the Social Work department said this emphasizes the importance of student support centers, such as the MultiCultural Center and SWB.
“In a small, rural area,” Abarca said. “It’s really important to make students feel welcome and accepted.”
Abarca also said there needs to be support and advocacy specifically for underrepresented students
As of late, SWB has shifted their focus towards assisting undocumented students, specifically with the application process for D.A.C.A. renewal. This includes providing information about the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and basic guidelines and civil rights when dealing with law enforcement.
Angie Muñoz, current editor of the Cultural Times said the MCC caters to what students need and can benefit from the most. This includes representing student voices and opinions in the Cultural Times, as well as opening up staff meetings to students with suggestions for the center.
The MultiCultural Center on campus is located in the Balabanis House and is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.