In what president Michael
Driscoll called “a great day at IUP,” Indiana University of Pennsylvania
officially opened its Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and
Engagement on Friday, January 26, 2018.
The center, located on
the first floor of Elkin Hall, opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony,
tours of the new facility, and a reception. The center was created to offer one location on campus where students can access services to
address multiple aspects of culture, identity, and
The space, which houses the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and
Engagement, was designed based on
the community-wide input, including from
faculty, students, alumni, and staff. The
center has space for student organization offices, private meeting areas, a
multipurpose room, and a dance studio.
is one of the most important things created here at IUP,” Driscoll said.
Turner, the center’s director, opened the ceremony by thanking all those
involved in the planning, financing, and
construction of the facility, which was paid for with a $2.7-million bond approved two years ago by the Pennsylvania
State System of Higher Education Board of Directors.
said the center will be a place created for the needs of IUP’s diverse student
vision…is to make this a facility that is 100 percent for the students,” he
said. “We want them to be able to go forth from here with an experience that is
like none other. I encourage all the community members, the faculty, and the staff to continue to show your support so the students can develop into the future
professionals that we want them to be.”
said the center will be another benefit for IUP students as they prepare to
enter the diverse workforce.
new and improved Elkin space provides the
space and place where students can be individuals and can confer with others
with like interests,” he said. “And it’s a place where they can collaborate and
work together with people who are completely different.”
students, Jevon Graham-Wooten and Melissa Checo-Hichez, also spoke at the
a biology major who is also the vice president of the National Pan-Hellenic
Council, said he remembered when Elkin Hall was a dormitory where students
often gathered. But he said the new center is a giant step forward from what he
used to know.
believe this building will be a new age for IUP,” he said.
a psychology major who is also vice president of the IUP Latino Student
Organization, said that because
she is graduating in May, she won’t get to experience the center for years to
come. But she was excited about the possibilities for future IUP students.
am super-excited to hear what this center will become,” she said. “Hopefully,
this will become a place students can consider a home away from home.”
The Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement is the reorganization of two former
university offices: the Center for Student Life and the African American
Cultural Center. It is comprised of four offices working together—Multicultural Affairs and Student Success; Student Leadership and New Student
Success; Greek Life and Student Engagement; and Program Coordination, Communication,
reorganization and the new space is designed to encourage programming that is
wide-ranging. It capitalizes on shared resources for the benefit of serving all
students, encourages mindful collaboration of the importance of inclusion in
multicultural programs, and allows more purposeful planning of events through a
said opening the new center is just the start of a continued effort by the
university to promote diversity and inclusion in every aspect of campus.
building is done,” he said, “but the work has just begun.”