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
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,"
"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
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.