posted November 15, 1999

New Multicultural Center

The Hope College community is invited to an informal open house on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for the college's new Multicultural Center in Phelps Hall.

          The center is located in the west wing (toward
  Lubbers Hall) of the first floor in Phelps, in the former
  East/West Lounge.
          Hosts for the open house will include
  representatives of a number of student organizations,
  including the Black Coalition, Hispanic Student Organization
  and Hope's Asian Perspective Association (HAPA).
          The center, which is still in the developmental
  stages, is intended to serve as a focal point for students
  seeking a culturally diverse experience, an emphasis that
  freshman Carmen Hernandez of Chicago, Ill., appreciates.
  "They can go there and expect not just one culture but
  multiple cultures, and they can feel more comfortable,"
  Hernandez said.
          "I think it's a good thing for our campus to
  have," said freshman Sujin Park of Ann Arbor, who is
  president of HAPA and is also a participant in the college's
  new Phelps Scholars Program, a residence hall-based
  initiative that focuses on diversity issues.  "I know a lot
  of people on campus are interested in learning about our
  organizations and what we do."
          And while the student organizations will be using
  the center as gathering space, members of the groups stress
  that the space is meant to include everyone.
          "People from outside the groups are also welcome
  to join," said Anthony Moton, a junior from Detroit who is
  vice president of Black Coalition.  "They're welcome to come
  and join any time."
          Although the center is still being furnished and
  equipped, it has become operational following the arrival
  and installation of a critical mass of its new furnishings.
  The space consists of two rooms:  a television-equipped
  lounge to the west for informal gathering and discussions,
  and a computer-equipped work station/conference room to the
          The Phelps Hall location is temporary.  Options
  for a permanent home are still being determined.
          The center is one of several initiatives being
  pursued through the college's Comprehensive Plan to Improve
  Minority Participation.  In addition to the three student
  groups, campus organizations and offices involved in
  planning the center include the Committee on Multicultural
  Affairs, the Office of Student Development, the Provost's
  Office, the Van Wylen Library, the Business Office and the
  Physical Plant.
          Campus groups interested in reserving the center
  as meeting space can arrange to do so by contacting Wilma
  Hart in the Student Development Office, x7867.