Ryan Chartrand

The University Diversity Enhancement Council (UDEC) at Cal Poly is currently directing the development of a student-led mural project. Work on the project began last winter quarter and is expected to be completed by the end of next quarter.

According to the Cal Poly multicultural programs Web site, “the purpose of the mural project is to promote and enhance diversity amongst people at Cal Poly and is a creative way for all students to become involved with the campus.”

The mural planning committee, through a campus survey, determined that students want the mural to represent some key concepts such as race, culture, academic majors and local scenery. The mural will also embrace an overall feeling of passion, pride and energy.

Dean of students and member of UDEC Jean DeCosta oversees the student planning committee along with her assistant Liz Cofer. “Our goal is to accurately represent the broad breath of diversity,” DeCosta said. “This campus does not have a lot of diversity. We hope with this project to honor the diversity that we do have, and to represent the diversity we look forward to having in the future.”

Business senior Jennette Ballas is one of the key student planners and artists working on the mural. She has been working for months to move this project forward.

“One of my goals is to see that this project is completed. I’ve developed a passion for this opportunity to greatly impact the campus and although I’m graduating in December, I am not leaving until it’s done. Call me stubborn, but I believe strongly in the message,” she said.

The mural project committee will be working closely with the artist(s) to meet the winter quarter deadline.

“Currently we are interviewing artists interested in overseeing this project. One requirement is that this project remains student led and that students be able to participate in the development and creation of the final project,” Ballas said.

Although planning for the project is well underway, a final location has yet to be determined. Ballas said the committee “is looking into different options, such as whether the mural will be one solid wall painting or on moveable panels that could be highlighted around campus.”

Funding for the mural has been provided by different campus departments and supporters of the mural. Ballas said they are still looking for additional donations to fund the final project.

The mural planning committee meets every Friday in UU room 218 at 2 P.M. Meetings are open to all students and others interested in becoming involved.

“Artistic or not, we want your ideas,” Ballas said.

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