Rodriguez to speak at Open House

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The Pacific University Student Multicultural Center, which is a little more than one semester old, will be hosting an open house for the Pacific community on March 14. Located on the first floor of Scott Hall, the Multicultural Center is a place for students to go when they feel like they have nowhere else.

The center is run by Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Narce Rodriguez, and seven student Social Justice Educators.

Since opening at the start of the fall 2017 semester, the center has used its first months of operation to establish itself in the Pacific community, according to Social Justice Educator, Julio Montelongo.

“We’ve done some programming, retreats and training, but now we’re looking at how to expand,” Montelongo said. “Maybe we will collaborate with different resource centers, maybe train new student leaders on campus. We just want to grow little by little.”

Students can use the Multicultural Center to do homework, to relax, to connect with other resources on campus or to address problems that they may not feel comfortable taking anywhere else.

That is exactly what Montelongo hopes people learn by coming to the open house.

The center is meant to “provide a safe space, predominantly for groups of students that may be marginalized, but it is intended as a welcoming place for everyone.”

The Multicultural Center waited a whole semester to have its open house to allow time for it to establish itself as a part of the university.

“We’ve had success gathering student leaders, fostering student interest so that when we have the open house it’s not just to say ‘hey this is a new room’ but so the center already has some depth to it,” Montelongo said.

The open house will feature four speakers: Rodriguez, University President Lesley Hallick, one of the current Social Justice Educators and a former student who helped lay the foundations for what the Multicultural Center is today.

The speaking portion of the open house should last around 20 minutes and the remaining hour and a half will be for people to explore the center and learn more about it.

The open house will be from 5-7 p.m. on March 14 in Scott Hall 106 and 107.


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