The Center for Multicultural Services at the University of La Verne has been heavily utilized by the Latino student population on campus, but it is currently lacking the diversity it needs to attract a wider array of students.
Currently, the center is mostly focused on our Latino student population, and this may have an effect on the lack of diversity in students who use the services.
Of the many students that attend La Verne, based on the number of visits and the overall utilization of the programs and services offered by the center, it appears as though the Latino community has taken full advantage of what their university has to offer them.
The Center is located in the Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion in office E112, and is open to all La Verne students. It includes a lounge-style living room that offers club organization and a planning area for events, a kitchen equipped with a pantry, microwave and refrigerator, computer access, limited printing and “teach-ins” for meetings or receptions.
The Center also has upcoming workshops in which they will be assisting students with “how to’s” about planning campus club events, where they help advise and direct students in the right direction.
Events coming up at the end of the month are the Natural Hair Journey on Oct. 25 which is intended for women to become more involved with their culture by allowing them to learn about the beauty of a natural look and appreciating their roots. On Oct. 31 the center will also be collaborating with student organizations such as the Multicultural Club and the Latino Student Forum, which will feature a student panel that will allow students to discuss how they celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
Though the center encourages the diverse student population at La Verne to attend one of their many events, or to simply use the resources available to them, they cannot control the number of students nor the ethnicities of those students who are actually taking advantage of the programs and services.
If you’re a student at ULV, and you’re paying around $22,000 for tuition, why not use the resources that are readily available to you?
It is easy to assume that the center has become a “Latino Center,” but it is harder to assume that if you’re not utilizing the center yourself and are just making an assumption based on others’ opinions or what you hear people talking about.
The center is for all La Verne students, but with our campus having a high Latino student population it is no surprise that the center is being visited mostly by that specific population of students. But that does not mean it is strictly a Latino center, they are just the only ones who are taking the most advantage. Another reason why the center may not be getting the diverse crowd they are hoping to reach, might be due to the new temporary location. “The new location is not the most ideal space for the Center of Multicultural Services,” said, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Lawrence Potter. “However, the space is much larger than the previous location, which was housed in the Campus Center.”
Over the coming years, Potter said he expects the center to relocate to a more prominent location that will include more office space for programs and services and added that the University has been very proactive in keeping diversity and inclusion at the center of its long-range planning efforts.
Although one reason the lack of diversity of the Center of Multicultural Services maybe blamed on the location, the issue must be much deeper, because Latino students have no problem finding the new location.
The Center claims to be a living and breathing cultural space for students to call their own and thrive. Their goal as stated on their website of meaningful cross-cultural interaction and collaboration leading to cultural competency is not being met with only serving Latino students. If they hope to achieve cross cultural interaction and collaboration they need to start with diversifying the students who use the Center.
The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that there is one.