Including a Multicultural Center in the Next Lives Here expansion plans to highlight, support, and empower ALL marginalized racial, ethnic and cultural identities at the University of Cincinnati.
Why is this important?
As the university continues to expand, it is important that it also focuses on creating safe spaces for historically marginalized students to connect and engage with one another. Multicultural centers are designed to provide a host of resources to marginalized students, and at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) such as the University of Cincinnati, they can be sources of important exposure and education. Our goal is to greatly expand upon pre-existing resources and spaces on UC’s campus, to continue to provide more programming that supports the needs of students with all representations of intersectional identities.
In the early 1990s, the University of Cincinnati embarked on an ambitious campus design program to better showcase its status as one of the nation’s top public research universities. Almost three decades after this announcement, the university continues to grow and expand the institution. As of 2018, the following constructions/renovations, have been made to the university:
5/3 arena - $87 million
Marian Spencer hall - $47.7 million
Corbett Center Theatres - $15 million
1819 Innovation Hub - $38 million
Muntz Hall (UC Blue Ash) - $3.7 million
Lindner College of Business - $120 million
Allied Health Sciences - $61 million
Gardner Neuroscience Institute - $45.6 million
In more recent news, the construction on the former Linder Building began on March 1st, 2021 as it transforms into the new UC Law College with a $45.6 million budget. These renovations have been remarkable in improving life on campus for students, faculty, and staff. Renovations are scheduled to be completed by August of 2022.
Other improvements to the university include:
Vontz Center for Molecular Studies: Roofing repairs and upgrades are currently underway on the iconic 1999 building designed by world renowned American architect Frank Gehry.
Rieveschl Hall: Plans are underway to replace the building’s roof and rooftop greenhouse, as well as renovate the facility’s labs.
Rhodes Hall: The building is slated to be outfitted with a complete fire protection system by February 2019
When looking at the University of Cincinnati, the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services (EPS), within the Division of Student Affairs, embraces the ever increasing diversity of the University of Cincinnati campus by providing quality programs and services that enhance the cultural, ethnic, and racial awareness of the entire university community and support the needs, growth, and development of students of color. Yet the understaffing of this office limits its ability to truly support all marginalized identities on this campus and create safe spaces for these students. By following the example of other universities and establishing a multicultural center, a physical space that encompasses appreciation of all cultures, the university can work to place supporting the needs of students of color at the forefront.
When looking at examples of multicultural centers within Ohio, the center located at Ohio University was created to provide educational, social and cultural resources and programs, and offers a strong example of its dedication to “familiarizing the campus community with the contributions and histories of African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Asian American, and Native American cultures.” Furthermore, at the Ohio State University, the Multicultural Center was formed in 2001, following the Asian-American Student Services’ Office that began in 1988 in the university. Within the Center, there are various initiatives offered that focus on Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi-American communities. Such programming include events such as “One Asian Nation,” an APIDA Peer Mentorship Program, as well as many workshops, one recent one entitled “COVID-19 and the APIDA Community: Impacts, Historical Oppression, Allyship.”
In addition, the University of Wisconsin-Madison also offers a Multicultural Student Center created in 1988 that provides for student programs, initiatives, etc. for a variety of marginalized identities. It includes the Black Cultural Center, LatinX Cultural Center, and APIDA Student Center. Events within the Center include “Hyphen-Nation: An APIDA Discussion Group,” and the Center also has available an Asian-Pacific Islander Desi American Student Center Fund, to provide for better student programs, initiatives and more.