After an end-of-school standoff between Cross Cultural Centers supporters and Cal Poly administrators over the future location of the centers, the university has chosen to keep it in its current home inside the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU).
Cross Cultural Centers assistant director Erin Echols told Mustang News in an email Monday that the centers’ staff learned this past week that the Cross Cultural Centers’ lounges would remain in the University Union, along with staff offices.
The Cross Cultural Centers will make their official announcement in a newsletter later this week, Echols said.
The Cross Cultural Centers, which include the Pride Center, MultiCultural Center and Gender Equity Center, was planning to move to Building 52, a science building north of the University Union Plaza that already has plans to be torn down and replaced. The Cross Cultural Centers first announced their intent to move as spring quarter was coming to a close and students were preparing for finals.
In a letter explaining the decision, Dean of Students Jean DeCosta and Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey said the move was a result of a lack of space in the UU for the Centers. The Cross Cultural Centers will be adding three staff members for the upcoming school year, and have seen an increase in the number of students spending time in its spaces.
“With this growth, the staff and students are finding that they have completely outgrown the space in the University Union,” Humphrey and DeCosta wrote.
They ended the letter by saying they were looking forward to bringing the Cross Cultural Centers to Building 52 in fall.
An online petition against the move had 658 signatures as of Monday, arguing it would decrease visibility and accessibility of the Cross Cultural Centers.
Humphrey and DeCosta held an open forum on the move during finals week, which drew approximately 100 attendees, including incoming Associated Students, Inc. President Joi Sullivan.
Concerned Cross Cultural Centers supporters came to the meeting and brought a passionate defense of the centers’ current location. One attendee, who called the UU the “center of the community,” said her sister would have killed herself if not for the Cross Cultural Centers’ resources there. Another said the move would take the Cross Cultural Centers from the “heart of Cal Poly” and move it into a “creepy, abandoned science building.”
After one student became particularly confrontational, Humphrey threatened to end the forum: “If we’re not going to be respectful,” he said, “we’re not going to continue the conversation.”
Humphrey acknowledged at the forum that the plan was not finalized, and said he would continue to look to balance students’ desires for visibility and space for the Centers.